Philippines President: Apologize for Threatening to Bomb Schools

Target: Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines

Goal: Demand Philippines president apologize for threatening to bomb indigenous schools.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to order bombings of indigenous Lumad schools, enraging human rights groups. In a controversial televised address, Duterte claimed Lumad schools had been infiltrated by communists.

“I’m telling the Lumads now. I’ll have those [schools] bombed, including your structures,” the president said. “I will use the armed forces, the Philippine air force. I’ll really have those bombed… because you are operating illegally and you are teaching the children to rebel against [the] government.”

The intentional bombing of schools is prohibited under international law. Human rights groups say the Lumad have long faced discrimination and human rights abuses at the hands of the military. NGOs operating in the region have also complained in the past of government forces shutting down indigenous schools–often to convert school houses to army facilities. Meanwhile, indigenous activists are routinely imprisoned on dubious allegations of involvement with communist insurgents, according to human rights groups.

However, bombing schools could deepen the Philippines’ internal unrest. “By calling for an attack on schools, Duterte is directing the military to commit war crimes,” said Carlos Conde from Human Rights Watch.

If you agree children and their schools shouldn’t be targeted, sign our petition.


Dear President Duterte,

In a recent speech, you threatened to bomb indigenous Lumad schools, which you claim have been infiltrated by communists. “I will use the armed forces, the Philippine air force. I’ll really have those bombed… because you are operating illegally and you are teaching the children to rebel against [the] government,” you said.

Irrelevant of whether or not this is true, bombing schools is a war crime. As Human Rights Watch’s Carlos Conde said, by calling for attacks on schools, you are “ directing the military to commit war crimes.”

No child should go to school in fear of his or her own government bombing them. We therefore call on you to apologize for your inflammatory statement and vow to commit your government to protecting human rights.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Handout/Presidential Communications Operations Office

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  1. Teresa Moy says:

    AS usual,indigenous people are ignored and looked down on in their own country! THE LAND IS THEIR LAND!

  2. The Philippine country should not be asking for an apology from present Duterte, they should be asking for him to be expelled. He should be expelled and never allowed back into the country. Threatening to bombing schools. Does he not have any more intelligence than that.

  3. Force a resignation of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte for threatening to bomb indigenous schools.
    He is not the right person for that prominence when he threatens with violence up on his people.

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