AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People vehemently condemns the reported plan of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) to indiscriminately bomb the mountains of Rodriguez, Rizal.
According to the report of the Defend Southern Tagalog, about 155 families from Barangays Mascap and Puray were forcibly displaced by the 80th IB of the AFP in preparation for the bombing to be conducted by state forces. Such a plan on aerial bombing came after the AFP suffered three casualties after a series of clashes with the New People’s Army (NPA).
The AFP must immediately stop their plan on bombing the mountains of Rizal as this will only cause fear and trauma among civilians. Aerial bombing will also cause destruction on ecosystems in the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape (UMRBPL), a protected area designated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The UMRBPL is home to indigenous Dumagat communities and also provides various ecosystem services in the province of Rizal and some parts of Metro Manila and Bulacan.
AGHAM calls on concerned agencies, particularly the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the DENR to investigate the AFP’s plan on bombing the mountains of Rizal. The CHR must investigate the forced evacuation of residents, while the DENR must order the AFP to stop bombing a protected area. We remind the AFP that aerial bombing of civilian communities violates the International Humanitarian Law, and the destruction of a protected area will have grave ecological consequences especially that we are facing the worsening impacts of the climate crisis.