Palace defends Duterte's order to shoot armed leftist rebels
Malacanang defended on Thursday President Rodrigo Duterte's order to the government security forces to shoot armed communist rebels.
In a phone patch interview with reporters, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there was nothing wrong with Duterte's order.
He said that "taking up arms" is a crime. "Yes, the President has the power to implement the law," he said.
Duterte, in a speech in Pangasinan on Wednesday, ordered the military and police to shoot members of the communist New People's Army who would be seen in possession of firearms.
"So what will be my orders to the (government forces)? Shoot them. They will kill you anyway. So if there is an armed NPA there or terrorists, if he’s holding any firearms, shoot," Duterte said.
But Vice President Leni Robredo said authorities should follow the rule of law.
"Our laws state that if somebody commits a crime, there is a process to determine if the accusation is true and there is the right penalty for the accusation (if proven)," she told reporters.
She wondered what would happen to the country if by mere allegation, the accused would already be killed.
Duterte terminated the peace talks with the communist rebels by formally issuing a proclamation recently.
Militant groups have been accusing the Duterte administration of killing some individuals who were accused of being communists since Duterte ended the peace talks. Celerina Monte/DMS