Shoot to kill order is illegal
In a media report, Police Regional Office-Cordillera Director B/Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan has ordered police snipers to shoot “communist organizers” who “unnecessarily organize the masses at this time.”
Tongtongan ti Umili condemns the police regional director’s remarks, which mirrored the position of his commander-in-chief. His pronouncement is an affront to democracy and the police forces’ mandate to uphold, fulfill, and respect human rights and dignity, especially now in the middle of a health and humanitarian crisis.
This Covid-19 crisis has struck many of the most vulnerable parts of our population to hunger and desperation, and has no recourse but to demand for better economic and social aid. However, with this ambiguous shoot-to-kill order against alleged ‘communists’, paired with the relentless spate of red-tagging and political vilification against those who are speaking out, lives are now even more at risk.
Such pronouncements only enable more our police forces to silence innocent individuals only expressing their legitimate concerns and demands. The shoot-to-kill order plays no role in addressing the health and humanitarian crisis we are facing now.
This is not the response we expect from our police force and the government as we continue to face more difficulty amid this pandemic. — TONGTONGAN TI UMILI-CORDILLERA PEOPLES ALLIANCE, Baguio City