The Sunday (March 7) slayings of nine activists by Philippine security forces show that in his last full year in office, President Rodrigo Duterte is not letting up on the killing spree he started five years ago. In what is now being called "Bloody Sunday", police and soldiers raided the offices and homes of community organisers in provinces near Manila. They shot dead nine of them – including a married couple – and arrested six. The authorities said caches of weapons and grenades were found, and that the activists were killed because they resisted – allegations that have been met with widespread scepticism. Vice-President Leni Robredo called the raids a "massacre" in a Monday (March 8) statement. The same day, Renato Reyes, secretary general of the leftist group Bayan, told ANC News : "The [police] narrative that they fought back, nobody believes [that]." The raids took place two days after Duterte met Philippine security forces in Davao City and urged them to kill communists. [[nid:521020]] "I've told the military and the police, if they find themselves in an encounter with the communist rebels and you see them armed, kill them, don't mind human rights ," he said in comments broadcast… Read full this story
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