Farmers oppose arming of civilian volunteers, says force multiplier groups might replicate Tokhang, EJKs

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) opposed the suggestion of President Rodrigo Duterte to allow civilians groups and anti-crime volunteers to carry arms to help in law enforcement, saying this could lead to more unwarranted and merciless killings.

At the launch of the PNP-backed Global Coalition of Lingkod Bayan, Global Coalition of Lingkod Bayan Advocacy Support Groups and Force Multipliers in Camp Crame last Friday, Duterte suggested that the group carry firearms. He said: “If you have this coalition, you have a list of people who are there who can arm themselves. I will order the police if you are qualified, get a gun, and help us enforce the laws.”

KMP said the public must oppose this proposal and oppose Duterte’s move to turn civic groups into his private army and death squads. “Arming these civic groups will do more harm than good to the civilian population,” says KMP leader Danilo Ramos.

As if police brutality and the PNP’s abuse of power are not enough, Duterte openly allows civic groups to carry arms. This is unacceptable and must be opposed. Tokhang killings have cost more than 30,000 lives. Extrajudicial killings also persist under the guise of joint police and military operations against illegal firearms and explosives. 

Arming civic groups and so-called force multipliers will only expand the Duterte regime’s crimes against humanity 

On June 30, KMP will join a broad mobilization in Mendiola against state killings — Tokhang, EJKs, and other state-sponsored violence and human rights violations. This action will also support the recent request filed by the International Criminal Court (ICC) Office of the Prosecutor for an open investigation into Duterte’s bloody anti-drug campaign and crimes against humanity.

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