Palace: Nothing wrong with Duterte’s order to shoot-to-kill NPAs
ZAMBOANGA CITY — There is nothing wrong with the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to shoot-to-kill armed members of the New People’s Army, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
Roque, also the presidential adviser on human rights, said this in Zamboanga City on Saturday following warnings from Duterte’s critics that the shoot-to-kill pronouncement would generate adverse reactions from human rights groups locally and internationally.
Roque said that under international humanitarian law, it is not prohibited to kill an armed enemy of the state. He said what is prohibited is when you target non-combatants like civilians and religious and humanitarian workers.
“So if there’s an armed NPA rebel it will not be a violation of the law to kill him because the armed rebel is a threat to the persona and preservation of life of our soldiers,” Roque explained in Filipino.
Roque said that what Duterte meant by his remark was to shoot and kill valid military targets.
“The military objective under the law, to which I will push because this is what I’m teaching, is a thing, object or a person whose destruction will contribute to the military objective. The military objective is a complete subjugation of the enemy,” Roque said.
He said the distinction between human rights and humanitarian law is that the former would never accept the devaluing of the right to life but humanitarian law would not prohibit the killing provided it is pursuant to the law.
Roque: NPA already passe
Roque also said that the Communist Party of the Philippines is dwindling in numbers and out of tune.
“First, I don’t know why NPA is a hot topic when they are already in the Guinness Book of World Record and the longest insurgency on earth. Laos na yan,” Roque said here.
Roque said communist rebels have to move on. He said the CPP and its armed wing, the NPA, were already left behind by China, which, he said, has taken over the United States as a capitalist power.
“So, talagang passe at out of tune na ‘yong pinaglalaban ng CPP-NPA. Iniwan na nga sila ng Tsina. Kapitalista na nga yong mga idol nila sa bansa ni Mao Zedong bakit sila ganyan pa rin ang kanilang tono? Laos na yan, so hindi na siya mainit,” Roque said.
He said Duterte was prompted to shut down talks after an attack by the rebels that killed a cop and a baby.
Roque said it also adds up to the expenses of the government just to pursue the talks held in Norway.