The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) claims that it used “smart bombs” in its aerial bombardment yesterday morning in Barangay Osmeña, Dolores, Eastern Samar, where supposedly 16 New People’s Army (NPA) fighters were killed. Even as we still need to check the veracity of these reports, we must counter the claim that their use of “smart” bombs ensure that civilians are not placed in danger.
As repeatedly proven in the past, “smart bombs” supplied by the United States military are stupid and cannot distinguish between civilians and armed fighters. These have caused widespread civilians deaths in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Palestine and other countries where these US-made bombs have been deployed. These bombs have no intelligence as the people who use them.
Yesterday, the lives of residents of barangays Cabago-an, Osmeña and adjacent villages in Dolores, Eastern Samar, were placed in danger as the AFP dropped bombs, strafed and fired artillery shells the whole day in the vicinity of their communities in what they claim was a running battle with an NPA unit.
A Manila Bulletin report published a picture showing a projectile that went through the roof of a civilian house, which fortunately did not explode. The AFP made the lame excuse that the projectile was not theirs.
We maintain that aerial bombs, helicopter gunships and artillery shelling are superfluous weapons and disproportionate use of force in counterinsurgency operations. These cause indiscriminate damage to property and the environment and untold terror and trauma among the people.