Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte voiced his intentions to launch airstrikes against indigenous tribal schools that he claimed teach “subversion and communism” and inspire students to become rebels, setting off a new round of concerns that the Filipino strongman may extend his brutal gaze beyond his drug war.
“I will bomb those schools,” Duterte said in a press conference following his state of the union speech Monday night. “I will use the Armed Forces, the Philippine Air Force…because you’re operating illegally and you’re teaching the children to rebel against government.”
Duterte’s saber-rattling drew immediate criticism from humanitarian and aid groups, with Human Rights Watch warning that  any such threats made real would constitute a war crime.
Duterte’s threats against schools run by the non-Muslim Lumad ethnic group follow skirmishes between government forces and Maoist-led rebels on the southern island of Mindanao, including a guerrilla ambush last week that left five members of the …