CHR to probe CPP-NPA atrocities

By Kaithreen Cruz / The Manila Times


THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has submitted to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) a report on the alleged atrocities committed by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) from 2010 to 2020, some of which allegedly violated international humanitarian law.


Brig. Gen. Jose Alejandro Nacnac handed the list of reported violations to Human Rights Commissioner Karen Dumpit on May 20, 2021.


"Commissioner Dumpit said they will forward the cases to their regional offices for investigation. They now have a total of 1,506 cases to investigate. The gathering of other cases is ongoing," said Nacnac, director of the AFP-Center for the Law on Armed Conflict.


The report lists 532 incidents of destruction of civilian-owned properties, the killing of 77 soldiers and 296 civilians, and the recruitment of 464 child warriors. One example of the destruction of civilian property was when the NPA rebels attacked Taganito Mining in Claver, Surigao del Norte in 2011 and burned the company's equipment.


NPA rebels also attacked other mining sites operated by Taganito.


Nacnac made the list public last Monday during the regular press conference of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac).


NTF-Elcac spokesman Undersecretary Severo Catura said if found guilty by the courts, violators will have to indemnify the victims.


"It is high time they are held accountable for their spate of willful killings, destruction of government and private property, use of children as combatants, internal purges and wanton disregard for human rights," Catura said.


The AFP and the NTF-Elcac said they will also refer the matter to international humanitarian and human rights groups such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations, through the UN Resident Coordinator, and the Senior Human Rights Adviser in the Philippines.


The CHR earlier condemned the killing of four civilians allegedly by the NPA in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental on May 14.


Catura, executive director of the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat, said communist terrorist groups (CTGs) may be compelled by the courts to indemnify victims of their human rights abuses and atrocities.


"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," the official said.

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