Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Threatens To Bomb Tribal Schools He Believes Are Stirring Upheaval

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Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine president dubbed the “Trump of the East” by Last Week Tonight host John Oliver before his country’s recent election, recently threatened to bomb tribal schools he believes are stirring resentment against the government. During a televised press conference on Monday, Duterte followed his annual state of the nation address with a tirade against rebels he previously tried to use martial law against in the outskirts of the Philippines.

“Get out of there, I’m telling the Lumads now. I’ll have those bombed, including your structures,” the president told reporters, according to the Associated Press. “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 government.”

An indigenous population located in the southern Philippines, the Lumads do not practice Islam and aren’t necessarily affiliated with the country’s ISIS insurgency, which Duterte has violently campaigned against. However, the president seems convinced that the area’s unsanctioned schools are stirring anti-government resentment among the younger population — much to the dismay of human rights groups in the Philippines and elsewhere. Like the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch, which on Wednesday asked Duterte to retract his threat and follow international law that “prohibits attacks on schools and other civilian structures unless they are being used for military purposes.”

(Via Associated Press)