Vice President Leni Robredo blamed President Rodrigo Duterte’s “finish them off” and “ignore human rights” rant for the massacre of nine civilians last Sunday, March 7.
In a statement, Robredo said she condemns the massacre she likened to the many innocents killed by the Duterte administration.
“There is no other way to describe this: it was a massacre,” Robredo said.
The Vice President noted that the incident came just two days after Duterte himself ordered the police and the military to kill suspected communists in a rant before the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in Cagayan de Oro City last frint.
“This is the painful truth: The killing of Filipinos goes unabated,” Robredo said in Filipino.
“The Filipino people deserve better than this murderous regime,” she added.
Churh groups demand justice
Meanwhile, church groups also condemned the massacre and called on Duterte to choose the rule of law over militarization.
In separate statements, the Council of the Laity of the Philippines (CLP) and Caritas Philippines, both groups under the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, called for justice.
“The blood of these fellow Filipinos are literally crying for justice as they are wiped-off from the floor tiles of their homes,” CLP, through its president Rouquel Ponte, said.
“We call on peace-loving Filipinos to make strong statements of condemnation against these brutal and organized atrocities,” it added.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the ‘Bloody Sunday initiated by the members of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army,” Caritas for its part said.
Caritas called on the Supreme Court to fast-track the ongoing discussions and review of the controversial Anti-Terror Act the law’s opponents say emboldens the unnecessary use of force “which only victimizes the poor and the vulnerable. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)