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9 dead in bloody “raid” in Calabarzon two days after Pres. Rodrigo Duterte issues “kill order” against communist rebels

The Duterte administration’s war against communist rebels has taken a bloody turn after President Rodrigo Duterte issues a kill order.

Nine people have died and six people have ended up in jail merely two days after President Rodrigo Duterte issued a kill order against the New People’s Army and their supporters.

According to news articles from various agencies, the Philippine National Police (PNP) conducted several raids fuelled by search warrants in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) region. Nine people lost their lives due to these raids.

Official reports from the Police Regional Office 4A (PRO 4A) said six of them were in Rizal, two in Batangas, and one in Cavite.

Six people were also arrested in the same region-wide operation: three from Laguna and three from Rizal.

PRO 4A information officer Lt. Col. Chitadel Gaoiran told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that these bloody raids were because of 24 search warrants served by the PNP.

All operations were conducted over the weekend, with Gaorian claiming they were all “legitimate”.

“As far as the PNP is concerned, this is a legitimate operation. We have the search warrant, the order from the court. We just implemented the search warrant,” Gaoiran told CNN Philippines in an interview on Monday, March 8.

The incident has since made international headlines, with most people attributing police aggression to Duterte’s recent “kill order”.

Said kill order was issued during Duterte’s speech last Friday, March 5, after giving a monetary reward amounting to P20 million to 822 barangays nationwide who have kept their community rebel-free.

A statement from PNP chief Debold Sinas also went viral today, as he claimed the President’s kill order did not have any bearing on the Calabarzon raids.

Netizens were not buying Sinas’s statement, claiming that these search warrants came specifically because of Dutete’s order.

One netizen raised concerns of how Duterte’s order will mean death for those who are red-tagged by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

Another raised concerns about how police in the Cordilleras will become more brazen after giving recommendations to LGUs about assigning left-leaning groups as “persona non grata”.

Lastly, one netizen noticed how the Duterte administration’s high kill count—whether it’s from the drug war or the war against communists—have become Duterte’s version of former president Benigno Aquino III’s PDAF scam.

As for government agencies, the Commission on Human Rights has promised a probe into the deaths of the Calabarzon 9, seeing as it is a case of civilians versus state elements.

Protests have also been held in Laguna condemning the bloody outcome of serving a search warrant.

As for Malacañang, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has come to the rescue of Duterte.

Roque said there was nothing wrong with Duterte’s “kill, kill, kill” order because it was permitted in international humanitarian law.

He also said state-sponsored killings were allowed as long as “there is a war happening” and if it is “necessary, proportionate, and will achieve complete subjugation of the enemy”.

Roque would again present “data” to counter critics, claiming that between January 2018 and January 2021, “50 civilians, 143 government agents, and 343 terrorists” have died due to the decades-long war against communist insurgents.

This would not be the first time Duterte would go on record to issue a kill order.

He would first issue a kill order barely a month into his term as president. This would result in a bloody war on drugs that not only resulted in escalating kill count, but would also draw international headlines.

He would later claim he never issued an order to kill in 2016.

Duterte would again issue another “shoot to kill order” in response to quarantine violators at the height of the global pandemic.

This resulted in police abuse during lockdown, including the deaths of an ex-military personnel in Quezon City and four military intelligence officers in Jolo, Sulu.


Duterte also said he will stand by the police during his bloody drug war. This has lead to several cases of abuse of authority as well as fabricating, including cases tagged as “nanlaban”.

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