MANILA — A left-leaning human rights organization accused the Philippine security forces of killing nine activists on Sunday in coordinated raids in four provinces.
Cristina Palabay, the leader of the rights group, Karapatan, said the raids were carried out at the activists’ homes and offices. Two of the victims, a couple, were killed as their 10-year-old son hid under a bed, she said.
A government spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment, but a security official confirmed that nine people had been killed in raids carried out jointly by the military and the Philippine National Police. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.
The Philippine outlet GMA News said a police spokesman, Lt. Col. Chitadel Gaoiran, had confirmed the deaths.
Mr. Duterte and other prominent Philippine officials, including military and police commanders, have accused Karapatan and other leftist groups of having ties to a long-running communist insurgency in the country. Karapatan and similar groups have denied being involved with violence.
Phil Robertson, the deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said his organization was “seriously concerned” about the reports of the raids, which he said were “clearly” part of the government’s counterinsurgency campaign against the communist rebels.