CHR obtains list of ‘rights abuses’ by communists
The Commission on Human Rights has been asked to investigate the 1,506 atrocities and International Humanitarian Law violations committed by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), collectively known as communist terrorist group (CTG), from 2010-2020.
Brig. Gen. Jose Alejandro S. Nacnac, Director of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Center for the Law on Armed Conflic, submitted to CHR Commissioner Karen Dumpit last Thursday a list of hundreds of willful killings perpetrated by the CTG for the same ten-year period.
“Commissioner Dumpit said they will forward the cases to their regional offices for their investigation. They now have a total of 1,506 cases to investigate. The gathering of other cases are ongoing,” Nacnac said, stressing that the recorded CTG atrocities grow by the day.
Last week, the CHR has condemned the killing of four civilians by the NPA last May 14 in Sitio Agit, Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
The victims were identified as Ronelo Quirante, 56; Roger Fat, 46; and Rodrigo Lubay, 46, and his wife Sherryl, 44.
Nacnac first made public the list of atrocities during the regular press conference of the NTF-ELCAC dubbed as TAGGED: Debunking lies by telling the truth last Monday.
According to NTF-ELCAC spokesperson on human rights, peace process and international engagements Undersecretary Severo Catura, the CTG may be compelled to indemnify victims of their human rights abuses and atrocities in the amount of billions of dollars.
Catura, Executive Director of the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat , explained that under existing local and international laws, particularly the IHL, parties that are found guilty of such abuses and atrocities committed in a situation of internal armed conflict may be compelled by the courts to indemnify their victims.
Under Section 14 of Republic Act No. 9851, or the “Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity” signed into law on 11 December 2009, Catura said the courts follow the principles relating to reparations, including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation, and determine the amount of the same based on the scope and extent of damages inflicted.
“However, regardless of the amount that shall be determined and demanded by the courts, it cannot equal the pain and suffering brought about by past and present human rights abuses and atrocities perpetrated by the CTGs,” Catura explained.
“It is high time that they are held accountable for their spate of willful killings, their destruction of government and private property, their use of children as combatants, their internal purges, and their wanton disregard for human rights,” he added.
Both . Nacnac and Catura claimed that they shall likewise refer the matter to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that has ably guided the AFP in the strict observance of IHL in their line of duty. The ICRC is a major partner of the Philippine government in the EO 134 Ad Hoc Committee for the State’s continued observance of IHL, co-chaired by the Department of National Defense and the Department of Foreign Affairs.
“Likewise, we shall inform the appropriate United Nations body, through the UN Resident Coordinator and the Senior Human Rights Adviser in the Philippines of this development,” Catura said. He reminded that no less than the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, in its report on the human rights situation in the Philippines, mentioned human rights abuses and atrocities committed by the NPA.
The AFP has consolidated 532 incidents of destruction of civilian-owned properties by the CTGs. An example of which was the attack in Taganito Mining Corporation in Claver, Surigao Del Norte in 2011 resulting in the destruction of the facilities and several pieces of equipment. Another group of rebels attacked the nearby Platinum Metals Group Corp. also in Claver. Three hours later, another mine site operated by another Taganito company, Taganito HPAL Corporation, was also attacked by the rebels.