NATIONAL Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon had just confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte has indeed issued a shoot-to-kill order against the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing New People’s Army.
Asked if the President’s March 5 call to kill all communists is a shoot-to-kill order, Esperon answered affirmative.
“Tama ‘yan. ‘Pag nakita natin sila na may armas, ano pa nga ba ‘yun. Kung hindi mo babarilin agad, ikaw naman ang mababaril. In the name of peace, law, and order ay binitawan na nga ni Pangulo ang shoot-to-kill orders against armed CPP-NPA,” Esperon was quoted as saying during the Laging Handa briefing.
Two days after Duterte issued a televised statement against the insurgents, nine were killed and several others were arrested as police raided offices and residences of noted activists in the Calabarzon Region.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said the Justice Department will probe the deaths of nine activists, specifically if there was a necessity and proportionality on the operation that led to their deaths.
Police claimed that the activists were armed, which was denied by the relatives of those killed who witnessed the bloodshed.