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STATEMENT  OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL  COALITION  FOR  HUMAN  

RIGHTS  IN  THE  PHILIPPINES  (ICHRP)  ON  THE  RECENT  AERIAL  
BOMBARDMENT  CAMPAIGN  (March  27,  2017)  
Is  Canada  Complicit  in  Philippine  War  Crimes/State  Terrorism?  
The  International  Committee  for  Human  Rights  in  the  Philippines  (ICHRP-­‐Canada)  is  
deeply  concerned  over  attacks  on  civilian  targets  in  recent  weeks  and  the  potential  
connection  to  Canada.      
Over  the  past  two  weeks,  the  Armed  Forces  of  the  Philippines  (AFP)  has  been  
conducting  a  number  of  aerial  strikes  on  civilian  targets.    The  recent  spate  of  aerial  
bombardment  on  civilians  follows  the  order  of  President  Rodrigo  Duterte  on  March  
9,  2017  to  ‘flatten  the  hills’.    Since  his  pronouncement,  at  least  three  incidents  of  
aerial  strikes  on  civilian  communities  were  reported.  
• On March 11, the Philippine military launched aerial strikes from at least 3
helicopters and dropped ten (10) bombs in communities in Mabini, Compostela
Valley in Mindanao. These bombings caused the evacuation of 200 individuals.
In a separate incident on the same day, Suara Bangsamoro reported that four
bombs were dropped from FA-50 fighter jets at around 1:00 a.m.. This resulted in
the displacement of around 300 families in Barangay Andabit, Maguindanao (also
in Mindanao). Some 600 soldiers aboard army trucks and tanks were also seen
entering the community at 5:30 a.m. The evacuees sought refuge in neighboring
communities
• On March 13, members of a humanitarian mission led by Karapatan observed at
least 2 Huey military helicopters hovering over the communities where the troops
of the Philippine Army were undertaking intensive operations in two villages in
the town of Nasugbu, province of Batangas.
• On March 16, it has been reported that four fighter jets of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines dropped at least 14 bombs in communities in Malibcong, Abra
(Northern Luzon). The bombings started forest fires in the barangays of Lat-ey
and Bangilo, and damaged rice fields of the indigenous communities in the area.
The military operation also forcibly displaced 56 families and forced schools to
suspend classes to ensure the security of students, teachers, and personnel.

Possible  Canadian  Connection  
In  2014,  the  Philippine  government  ordered  eight  Huey  Helicopters  (Bell  412EP)  
from  Canada  and  the  helicopters  were  subsequently  delivered  and  commissioned  by  
the  Philippine  Airforce  in  November  2015.    Three  of  the  helicopters  are  being  used  
for  VIP  transport;  the  remaining  five  were  configured  as  combat  utility  helicopters.  
The  Canadian  helicopters  have  been  assigned  to  the  205th  Tactical  Helicopter  Wing  
based  in  Benito  Ebuen  Air  Base  in  Cebu.    The  205th  is  responsible  for  conducting  
tactical  helicopter  operations  in  support  of  the  Philippine  Airforce  (PAF)  and  the  
Armed  Forces  of  the  Philippines  (AFP)  out  of  bases  in  Mindanao,  Cebu  and  Luzon.      
The  concern  is  that  these  vehicles  may  be  participating  in  attacks  on  the  civilian  
population.        On  March  13,  a  humanitarian  mission  that  brought  food  and  relief  to  
evacuated  villagers  in  Nasugbu,  Batangas  witnessed  and  photographed  at  least  two  
Huey  helicopters  hovering  over  the  community  during  counter  insurgency  
operations.    While  no  civilians  may  have  been  killed  or  injured  during  the  bombing  
operations  in  Nasugbu,  200  residents  in  4  villages  were  forcibly  removed  from  their  
homes  and  hamletted  in  a  school  in  another  village.  
When  the  Canadian  government  announced  the  sale  of  the  helicopters  in  2013,  
concerns  were  raised  to  the  government  and  Members  of  Parliament  that  the  
helicopters  might  be  used  against  civilian  communities  in  military  operations  such  
as  what  has  taken  place  in  Nasugbu.  The  concern  that  the  Canadian  helicopters  
might  be  used  in  such  bombings  sprung  from  a  long  history  of  reports  by  human  
rights  organizations  and  Philippine  newspapers  about  military  helicopter  bombings  
in  the  conduct  of  counter-­‐insurgency  operations  against  the  New  People's  Army  
where  civilians  were  killed,  injured  and  forced  to  flee.    
Whether  or  not  the  Canadian  helicopters  were  used  in  the  bombing  of  civilian  
targets,  the  fact  is  that  the  Government  of  Canada  has  supplied  the  Philippine  
military  with  hardware  that  is  being  used  in  a  civil  war  -­‐  a  war  being  conducted  
against  largely  civilian  targets  in  the  rural  Philippines.    
According  to  Karapatan  spokesperson  Tina  Palabay,  “State  security  forces  should  be  
pulled  out  from  communities.  The  cause  of  unrest  is  not  solved  by  bombing  
communities  or  perpetrating  more  rights  abuses.”    
Dropping  bombs  from  military  helicopters  on  civilian  targets  are  frequently  
described  as  a  war  crime  in  Syria.    Such  state-­‐sponsored  terrorism  is  a  war  crime  
regardless  of  whether  it  occurs  in  the  Middle  East  or  Southeast  Asia.      
In  view  of  President  Duterte's  instruction  to  the  military  to  use  aerial  bombings  in  
the  war  against  the  New  Peoples  Army  (NPA)  in  disregard  of  the  harm  they  inflict  on  
civilian  communities,      
• We  wish  to  know  if  any  of  the  Bell  412EP  helicopters  sold  by  Canada  to  the  
Philippine  Army  are  being  used  in  these  bombing  operations.  
• We  strongly  urge  the  Canadian  government  to  assess  whether  the  criteria  for  the  
sale  of  the  helicopters  are  being  observed  by  the  Philippine  military.  
• We  call  on  the  Canadian  government  to  suspend  all  sales  of  military  goods  and  
all  defense-­‐related  assistance  to  the  Philippine  Government.  
• We  urge  the  Canadian  government  to  call  on  President  Duterte  to  put  an  
immediate  end  to  the  military  aerial  bombings  on  communities  and  to  vigorously  
pursue  the  continuation  of  the  peace  talks  between  the  Philippine  government  
and  the  National  Democratic  Front  of  the  Philippines  (NDFP)  to  address  the  root  
causes  of  the  civil  war  in  the  Philippines.    
For  more  information  contact  Bern  Jaguos  ,  ICHRP  Global  Council  Member  
bern.jagunos@rogers.com