MANILA -- Gabriela party-list on Thursday expressed outrage over the appointment of Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro as the 58th chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
"We reject the appointment of [Bacarro] given his bloody record as the AFP Southern Luzon Command during the spate of human rights violations in the region," said Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas.
Brosas cited the case involving Kyllene Casao, a 9-year-old allegedly killed by the Philippine Army 59th Infantry Battalion in Bgy. Guinhawa, Taysan, Batangas last July 18.
“Bacarro along with the 59th Infantry Battalion, should be held accountable for the killing of Casao and other cases of state-perpetrated violence in Batangas," Brosas said.
ACT-Teachers Rep. France Castro and Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel both blamed the alleged militarization of communities and culture of impunity for the killings.
“Kinukondena po natin ang lahat ng uri ng human rights violations na hanggang ngayon namamayani pa rin sa ating bayan. Nagpapatuloy yung ala martial law na taktika," Castro said.
“Pag-upo pa lang niya hanggang ngayon, kitang-kita natin gaano sila katakot sa protesta at doon sa rural area pinapakalat ang militar para maghasik ng state terror," Manuel claimed.
Bacarro has been picked by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the new AFP chief, the Palace announced on Monday.
Bacarro, 55, served as commander of the AFP's Southern Luzon Command.
He will succeed his classmate at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), outgoing chief of staff Gen. Andres Centino.
Bacarro has yet to issue a statement regarding the partylist group's allegations, as of posting.