Stop terrorist aerial bombing
Dropping bombs using war planes and helicopters, coupled with the use of drones for surveillance in counterguerrilla operations, violate international humanitarian law governing the conduct of war. The use of these weapons must be ended and prohibited.
The amount of bombs dropped, rockets, bullets and artillery bombs fired by the military is excessive. These powerful weapons, typically used to destroy tanks and buildings, causes too much death and destruction of the environment. Even more heinous, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) attaches a “proximity fuse” to make the bomb detonate a few meters before hitting the ground to cause more widespread damage.
To increase its capability to aim its bombs, the AFP uses drones for aerial surveillance (to take pictures, thermal images and for electronic surveillance) over a large area. This is combined with the use of local spies and electronic gadgets to identify the exact locations of New People’s Army (NPA) units.
On several occasion, aerial bombs have hit NPA camps resulting in large numbers of casualties among Red fighters, including the killing of 20 in Dolores, Eastern Samar last August 16, 10 in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental on May 10, 2020, and seven in Sta. Teresita, Cagayan Valley last September 21. Often, bombs are dropped on detected NPA camps in the early morning before the break of dawn.
The use of excessive force contravenes humanitarian law principles which provide that weapons used in warfare must be sufficient only to attain a particular military objective without causing superfluous injury to armed adversaries and should be consistent with what is reasonable and humane.
The AFP exploits its military air ascendancy against the NPA by dropping bombs against adversaries who have no capability for defense and no opportunity to fight back. This killing in numbers is not an act of war, rather is a brutal and bloody act of mass murder. The principle of honor states that one has the right to kill one’s enemy only in the battlefield. By dropping bombs from a few kilometers high, the AFP manifests its lack of honor and cowardice.
Despite the use of drones, more often, AFP bombs miss its target and hits, damages and spreads poison in fields in the plains near communities, in mountain farms and gardens, hunting grounds, and the masses’ sources of water, food, medicine and livelihood. Recently, intensive bombing caused fires in large areas of a mountain range.
There are also times that the AFP drops bombs and strafe in the proximity of communities without clear targets. They put the lives of civilians at risk and cause widespread trauma. Cases of people forced to evacuate are rising. There have been cases of civilians who were not hit directly but died as a result of accidents due to the bombing. The aggravating noise made by drones that fly over their communities for hours destroys the peace and causes fear among the people. The AFP drops bombs to terrorize the masses and make them kneel before the military’s power. What else do you call this but terrorism from the skies.
The AFP squanders billions upon billions of pesos for flying their drones, war planes and helicopters on a daily bases. Billions of pesos are wasted for bombs, rockets, bullets and other weapons of terrorism. They waste such large amounts of funds while people suffer from joblessness, low wages and income, and incessant rise in the prices of commodities.
The Filipino people must unite to fight the brutal and terrorist aerial bombardment of the AFP. Human rights and peace advocates, lawyers and legal experts and all democracy-loving people, must make a stand and exert efforts to expose, condemn and push for the prohibition of state weapons of terrorism. We must expose the malevolence of the terrorist bombing in the Philippines before the international community, and unite with those suffering the same violence such as the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Kurdistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries. US imperialist support for the Duterte fascist regime’s terrorist bombing must be exposed and condemned.
The NPA must continue to raise its capability in guerrilla warfare to frustrate the terrorist bombing of the AFP. All units of the NPA, big and small, should assiduously abide by the security policies. They must be adept and creative in clandestine operations to keep the enemy blind and deaf and thus render ineffective the enemy’s drones and other surveillance equipment.
All units of the NPA must maintain a high level of mobility and capability for rapid shifting to avoid being at the enemy’s cross-hairs. All NPA units must continually expand their areas of operation. Avoid complacency or liberalism that typically arises with victories gained in either military or mass work.
The NPA must continually raise its capability to mount offensives against the enemy’s air assets. Even if we have no anti-aircraft weapons, Red fighter snipers can use their rifles against the enemy helicopters when they fly low or land on mountains or in the guerrilla zones.
Because of the increasing use of air assets in counterguerrilla operations, enemy ground troops are bound to become reliant on these. Thus, the NPA must continue to use its advantage of terrain and mass support to target the detached and weaker units of the enemy with tactical offensives.
Guided by Mao’s dictum: “people, not things, are decisive,” all Red fighters must further raise their courage, determination, readiness to sacrifice and erudition to continue advancing the people’s war. Raise the political and ideological firmness of all NPA units while advancing the Filipino people’s protracted people’s war for national freedom and democracy.