Groups condemn AFP bombings in Abra, Ilocos Sur

By Maujerie Ann Miranda

Human rights advocates trooped to Camp Aguinaldo on April 5, Friday, condemning the recent bombings by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Abra and Ilocos Sur they said affected at least 700 residents.

Kaammoyo Ti Kappia (KTK), a human rights organization in the region, said the indiscriminate bombings on April 2 near the communities at Pilar, Abra province and Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur province occurred during firefights between the New People’s Army and the 501st Infantry Brigade of the AFP.

The 5th Infantry Division Philippine Army said two clashes were recorded at 11:50 in the morning and 5:00 in the afternoon of April 2. No casualties on either side had been reported.

KTK called for a stop to the military operations and the aerial strikes as it endangers the civilian population in the affected areas.


“This is not a humane act as it not only puts a bigger burden on poor farmers in the area who are already affected by increasing prices of farm inputs, and the intense drought brought by El Niño, but also brings widespread fear, trauma, and panic. In addition, both parties should ensure the safety of the civilian population and observe the International Humanitarian Law (IHL),” the group said.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera Administrative Region reported that at least 118 families evacuated while classes were suspended in nearby schools.

Human rights groups condemn the AFP bombings in Abra and Ilocos Sur in a rally in front of Camp Aguinaldo on April 5. (Photo by Maujerie Ann Miranda/Kodao)

The protesters in Quezon City called for accountability from the AFP and the Ferdinand Marcos Jr administration and implored the Commission on Human Rights to conduct an independent investigation on the ongoing human rights violations in the Ilocos region.

Nakakagalit na ang gobyerno ni Bongbong Marcos ay may pera para sa gera, may pera para sa bomba pero wala para sa mga magsasaka,” said Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) secretary general Mong Palatino.

(That the Bongbong Marcos government has money to burn on war and on bombs and nothing for the farmers angers us.)

The government should re-channel funds to social services and financial aid to farmers affected by El Niño, he added.

Palatino also condemned the military aid coming from the United States (US) which he said is utilized in the attacks and the upcoming trilateral summit between the Philippines, US and Japan on April 11 in Washington DC.

He warned that the outcome of the talks regarding military aid and additional military bases will further intensify the attacks on the Filipino people.

BAYAN said it will hold another protest on April 11 in front of the US Embassy to denounce the trilateral summit and the decades-long infringement of the US of Philippine sovereignty and democracy. #