289 cases of CPP-NPA 'willful killings' violate int'l, local laws
By Priam Nepomuceno / Philippine News Agency
AFP Center for the Law on Armed Conflict director, Brig. Gen. Joel Alejandro Nacnac (Screengrab from virtual presser)
MANILA – The Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) has committed a total of 289 incidents of "willful killings" of civilians from 2010 to 2020, an official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Monday.
"The 289 incidents of willful killings conducted by the CTGs (communist terrorist groups) shows a widespread and systematic attack against civilians and is a clear violation of the customary IHL (International Humanitarian Law) which constitutes a crime against humanity," said Brig. Gen. Joel Alejandro S. Nacnac, director of the AFP Center for the Law on Armed Conflict (AFPCLOAC), during the "TAGGED: Debunking Lies by Telling the Truth" online press conference.
Nacnac said these incidents caused the death of 373 persons -- 296 civilians and 77 soldiers.
The highest number of these incidents was recorded in 2019 with 66 that resulted in the death of 84 people -- 78 civilians and six military personnel, followed by the year 2020 with 65 incidents that killed 80 people -- 67 civilians and 13 government troops.
The Caraga Region logged the highest with 66 willful killings of CTGs, collective term for the CPP-NPA and National Democratic Front.
Citing Article 13 of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions, Nacnac said civilian population cannot be "objects attacks".
He was referring to the "Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts" (Protocol II).
This protocol also said "acts or threats of violence whose primary purpose is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited".
Nacnac added that these willful killings conducted by the CTGs are a violation of Republic Act 9851, also known as "Act Defining and Penalizing Crimes Against IHL, Genocide, And Other Crimes Against Humanity" which states that it is violence to "life and person".
"The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) will continue to monitor IHL violations by the CTGs and will continuously coordinate with the appropriate agencies to put an end to the group’s crimes against humanity," he earlier said.
The AFP recently has submitted reports to the Commission on Human Rights and other concerned agencies for their appropriate action, reports on 544 children who were used as child combatants, 532 incidents on the destruction of civilian properties, and 141 incidents of use of anti-personnel mines by the CTGs.
Meanwhile, NTF ELCAC Spokesperson, Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy said communist-linked party-list legislators have remained mum on CPP-NPA atrocities committed on thousands of Filipinos, including children.
“We’ve been waiting for them to denounce the terrible crimes of the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) against the Filipino people for the past 52 years and so far the silence again is deafening,” Badoy said.
She posed a challenge to communist-linked human rights group Karapatan to denounce the CPP-NPA-NDF's alleged atrocities and violations of the international humanitarian law.
“You can still maybe redeem yourselves and denounce what ought to be denounced,” she added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)