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NSC condemns CPP-NPA-NDF terror group, number one violator of IHL

LE August 15, 2023

National Security Council (NSC) Secretary Eduardo Año has condemned terror group Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) for being the number one violator of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

“The CPP-NPA-NDF is the number one violator of the IHL in our country. Committing crimes against IHL such as civilian executions, assassinations, ambuscades, bombings, use of anti-personnel landmines, among others, that has resulted not only the deaths of government forces but civilians,” said Año in a statement read to reporters by NSC Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya during Monday’s (August 14, 2023) virtual press conference hosted by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

Año was reacting and, at the same time, strongly condemning the recent NPA atrocities against three unarmed civilians – a village chief and two former NPA rebels – who were attacked by a five-man NPA hit team on August 7, 2023 in Barangay Bonifacio in the municipality of Uson, Masbate. The victims, who sustained serious injuries, were onboard a single motorcycle travelling back home from a meeting in an adjacent barangay when hit by a remotely detonated explosive device. This was followed by a burst of automatic gunfire from the terrorists.

“The perpetrators of this dastardly and cowardly act will not go unpunished. Justice will be served for Barangay Captain Democrito Rivera, Romnick Lumabab and Alex Balayan, all residents of Barangay Bonifacio. We strongly condemn the latest atrocities by the NPA,” Año said.

Año, being the National Security Adviser (NSA), co-chairs with Vice President and Education Sec. Sara Duterte the NTF-ELCAC, which is chaired by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

According to Malaya, this latest terror attack perpetrated by remnants of the NPA only shows the group’s brand of violence that placed them as the 15th deadliest terrorist organizations in the world as reported in the 2023 Global Terrorism Index.

The horrifying incident, Malaya said, came on the heels of the global observance of IHL last August 12.

“The IHL Day allows us to be reminded of the importance of respect for human rights and obligation of the government and in upholding these rights and the dignity of every individual troubled by armed conflict. This includes the sick, the wounded, the civilians, and the non-combatants,” Malaya emphasized.

He said that for this year the government celebrates the IHL with the theme: “IHL: Gabay sa Makataong Pagsulong ng Kapayapaan.”

“We’re called to be constantly guided by the established tenets as we strive to achieve a safe and peaceful environment where human rights are respected, lives are protected, and humanitarian assistance are extended to those who are vulnerable during times of hostilities,” he said.

“We’re here to emphasize that the government is unrelenting to put those who commit crimes against IHL (before the bars of justice),” he added.

Malaya said oftentimes government troops were easy targets of alleged violations of IHL, “ngunit nakakalimutan ng ilan na ang number one violator nito sa ating bansa ay ang CPP-NPA-NDF.”

Data shows, Malaya revealed, that 373 people were killed over the past decade by the NPA; a total of 141 illegal anti-personnel land mine-related NPA attacks that resulted in injuries and deaths of over 224 individuals.

“Since 2010, a total of 544 documented instances when NPA recruited children into their ranks and used them as child combatants. ‘Yung kanilang paggamit ng anti-personnel land mine, ‘yung pag-atake sa sibilyan, yung paggamit sa mga kabataan bilang NPA fighters ay paglabag sa IHL,” Malaya further explained.

In a separate report released by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), over 270 events of NPA violence targeting civilians, consisting mostly of physical attacks but also including incidence of forced disappearances, sexual violence, and the use of explosives.

In retrospect, Malaya said there were 293 cases filed against the CPP-NPA-NDF, 82 of which are already in the courts.

“The NSC and NTF-ELCAC commiserate with the victims and their families and the countless others who were hurt and killed by these godless and inhumane remnants of communist armed group. They deserve no less than the condemnation of all freedom and peace loving Filipinos here and all over the world,” Malaya, in support Ano’s statement over the recent Masbate incident, said.

The NSC and NTF-ELCAC assured the public that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are hunting down the NPA remnants “who continue to sow terror in our communities with impunity if only to say relevant and project a false mage and strength,”

“We wish to reiterate our government strong commitment to uphold the tenets of the IHL of the Geneva Convention and Republic Act 9851, or an act defining and penalizing crimes against IHL, genocide, and other crimes against humanity. Likewise, the government strongly upholds the enforcement of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. In light of this recent atrocity, let us continue to uphold the national government a strong hand, environment mechanism, a whole-of-nation approach to the NTF-ELCAC to finally end the more than five decades reign of terror of the CPP-NPA-NDF,” Malaya said.


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