The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today said the PNP’s shooting of four Army intelligence operatives last June 29 further underscores the extreme danger of the Anti-Terrorism measure.
“We reiterate our demand for the veto of the Anti-Terorism measure that will lapse into law on July 9. Clearly, those who are supposed to enforce the law and tasked to catch ‘terrorists’ or ‘would be terrorists’ cannot distinguish or properly identify their targets. They shot their own people. The Army operatives were tracking down suspected Abu Sayyaf members when they were interrupted by the Jolo police at a checkpoint. The police shot and killed the Army intels at point blank near the Jolo police station. This incident could happen to anyone,” says KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos.
“Video footage from the crime scene have emerged and it showed many irregularities and violations by the PNP. The police even tampered evidences on the crime scene and the dead bodies of the Army intels. The incident is so appalling that even former and current ranking AFP military officials are now furiously mad,” Ramos added.
Former AFP chief and now NIA administrator Ricardo Visaya lambasted the PNP’s “habitual violent incidents” as he called on the PNP leadership to “stop covering up their abusive men.”
For his part, incumbent Philippine Army commanding general Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay described the shooting incident as an ‘unprovoked murder and rubout’ of his men.
He also dismissed the PNP spot report as “fabricated, full of inconsistencies–like a movie and very misleading”.
“Truly, it’s like the pot calling the kettle black. This incident emphasizes the severity of the situation that could arise once the Anti-Terror measure is enforced. Anyone could easily be a target. The police doesn’t care about laws or rules or standard operating procedures anymore. The police will instantly shoot anyone whom they perceive as threat or suspect as ‘terrorist’ or ‘would-be terrorist.’ The same could also be the case for the Armed Forces of the Philippines.”
KMP said the PNP and DILG heirarchy must take responsibility for the rubout.
“The police shot Army operatives — practially their brothers-in-arms. It is not enough to court marshall the policemen involved in the rubout and for Jolo police chief Lt. Walter Annayo to take the fall for the incident. DILG Sec. Eduardo Ano and PNP Chief Police General Archie Gamboa must take full accountability. Years of Oplan Tokhang have legitimized the PNP as an institution of crazed, trigger-happy killers. Their bosses in the PNP and DILG must take responsibility,” the KMP leader said.
“The PNP’s killing of ex-Army solider Winston Ragos remain unresolved. This latest incident of interforce killing will definitely take a toll on the already damaged morale of both PNP and Philippine Army personnel. The AFP and Army generals are mad while PNP officials are awkwardly silent.”