MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday, October 28, warned that he will order state forces to arrest groups who occupy government and private properties.
"Do not do it ever again because I have issued an order to the police. Kapag pinilit 'nyo i-occupy ang isang lugar, tulad noong nangyari sa Bacolod, I will order your arrest (If you insist on occupying a place, like what happened in Bacolod, I will order your arrest)," he said in a speech at the birthday party of former foreign secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in Davao City.
"My order to the police is to shoot them. If they resist violently, shoot them, and if they die, I do not care," the President added.
Duterte seemed to be referring to the massacre of 9 sugar farmers at Hacienda Nene in Sagay City, Negros Occidental. The farmers were occupying land at the hacienda.
Police have filed multiple murder charges against a certain Rene Manlangit and Rogelio Arquillo, allegedly the ones who recruited the farmers for the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW).
According to police, witnesses claimed that "the recruiters deceived the victims and enticed them to join by promising them a parcel of land once their cause would succeed."
Police have also raised the possibility that the New People's Army was behind the killings. The NFSW has denied being a front for the communist rebels.
Duterte on Sunday called on groups to "stop confiscation of other people's property" because this action is "sowing anarchy."
He added that he will just give away government lands.
"I will give it to you, you just wait," the President said. "You don't have to abuse people and go there." – Rappler.com