MANILA - The Philippine military on Wednesday backed President Rodrigo Duterte's proposal to form a hit squad against the New People's Army.
But Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo, military spokesman, said they would prefer the name "Team counter-NPA liquidation squad" instead of "death squad."
Members of the "liquidation squad" should be elite soldiers so they can match well with the communist rebels' Special Partisan Unit, Arevalo said.
"If we are to be asked, we may call it by another name like Team Counter-NPA Liquidation Squad, and the like. But not Duterte Death Squad," he said.
"We advocate a creation of teams comprised of elite soldiers to form that team, and we do not want its success to be referred to as the death squad of the President," he added.
The military official clarified that this is just a concept based on the President's pronouncement and they have yet to receive formal orders from Malacañang.
Duterte last week said he wants to match the NPA special unit's "talent of assassinating people" with his own hit squad as state troops remained vulnerable to attacks from the rebels.
The President's statement came after he ordered additional troop deployment in Bicol, Samar and Negros to quell supposed "lawless violence."--report from Zhander Cayabyab, ABS-CBN News