Claims that Cagayan mountains bombed by AFP are uninhabited are false

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It is not true that the mountains in Barangay Sta. Clara, Gonzaga, Cagayan province where the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) conducted aerial bombardment last January 29 are uninhabited.

These mountains serve as home and source of livelihood of indigenous Agta communities. In fact, entire ethnic minority and peasant communities were struck by fear as a result of the air strikes and left their homes to seek safety. According to news reports, at least 56 families are presently staying in the barangay gymnasium in Sta. Clara.

The air strikes and artillery shelling conducted by the Philippine Army’s 501st Brigade were aimed in the vicinity of sitios Bagsang, Maging and other communities. The AFP started its bombardment at 3 a.m. shattering the early morning peace and rousing people from their sleep. The bombing lasted several hours.

We denounce the AFP for dropping bombs in the proximity of Agta communities which endangered the lives of civilians, terrorized people, and damaged forest resources from which local ethnic communities draw their food, water and medicine.

We call on the Filipino people to expose and denounce the intensifying employment of these weapons of terror. Aerial bombing and strafing using fighter aircraft and attack helicopters, and artillery shelling are acts of state terrorism and violate international humanitarian law as it puts the life of civilians in danger and subjects them to terror.

Claims that Cagayan mountains bombed by AFP are uninhabited are false
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