SF CHRP (San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) is a San Francisco based human rights advocacy group. Latest news and views on human rights in the Philippines.
Rod Tajon, in an article for Northern Dispatch, highlights the trauma family members experienced after the Armed Forces of the Philippines, in violation of international humanitarian law, desecrated the bodies of 19 New People’s Army (NPA) members:
The families of Tineg 8 and San Narciso 11 in Abra and Quezon provinces appeared before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) to demand justice for their slain kin.
They filed complaints on the violations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Republic Act 9851, otherwise known as the “Philippine Act on Crimes against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes against Humanity”.
It can be recalled that in October 2011, 8 members of the NPA died in a clash with the 41st IBPA under Lt. Jeson Capoquian in Tineg, Abra while in June 30, 2012, 11 members of the NPA died in a clash with the 74th IBPA in San Narciso, Quezon.
The members of the NPA who died in two separate clashes bore signs of mutilation and were left unattended, according to the complaint. The bodies, as per medico-legal report, were reportedly an “overkill” as most of the victims were almost unrecognizable when their bodies were retrieved in decomposing state.
There were also strong indications that the combatants were not given quarter or were not spared their lives especially those who, at the time of the encounter, were already in no position to defend themselves (hors de combat).
The families also complained on the denial of the military to tender the remains of their kin. It took a couple of days before the bodies were retrieved through the initiative of the community.
Jude Baggo, secretary general of the CHRA commended the courage of the families to seek justice for their slain kin but was dismayed over the Aquino government’s failure to resolve the root causes of the 4-decade armed conflict.
“Despite the fear of the State’s practice to retaliate against those who speak the truth, they courageously stood up to demand for justice and for peace.”
Baggo challenged the government to resume the peace talks with the NDFP and to implement the CARHRIHL.
“Aquino should seriously address the on-going civil war in the country as it is a gaping wound that is testament to social injustice and the crying need for change and genuine peace.”