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.
Refernece: Rupert Estanislao, chair
The San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (SF CHRP) is calling on the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC), whose task is to uphold the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), to investigate the 31st IB of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the summary execution of three unarmed prisoners of war during an encounter between the 31st IB and the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sorsogon, Bicol.
The incident happened on July 4th after around a 34-minute firefight between soldiers of the 31st IB and a NPA security detail protecting members of the information bureau of the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP) in Bicol. At some point during the firefight NDFP-Bicol spokesperson Frankie Joe Soriano, Christine Puche, and Ted Palacio fled the fighting and were then captured unarmed by the soldiers and summarily executed by being shot in the face and then having their bodies riddled with bullets.
“The actions of the soldiers of the AFP are absolutely disgusting, inhuman, immoral, and a violation of international humanitarian law,” exclaimed SF CHRP chair Rupert Estanislao. “The fact that AFP soldiers executed three unarmed Prisoners of War shows the rotten core of the AFP and of the U.S. supported and Aquino regime backed counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan (OpBay).”
Originally the President Aquino and the top brass of the AFP stated that OpBay would eradicate the NPA by 2016. Instead they have used the counter-insurgency program to attack union leaders, church people, peasant organizers, and human rights advocates. Since OpBay was implemented in 2010 the Aquino regime has been responsible for 142 extrajudicial killings, 293 political prisoners, and 16 victims of enforced disappearances.
“Ever since the Aquino regime scuttled the peace talks between them and the NDFP in May human rights organizers have feared he would use it as an excuse to commit all out war against the people. Unfortunately, we were right,” said Estanislao. “Since May, the Aquino regime has stepped up the militarization of communities in the countryside, the demonization of national democratic activists, as well as using the military to perpetrate war crimes against unarmed personnel of revolutionary organizations such as what happened in Sorsogon.”
SF CHRP condemns the brutal summary executions of Soriano, Puche, and Palacio and demands that the soldiers of the 31st IB be held accountable for their war crimes and that an impartial investigation immediately be taken up by the JMC. SF CHRP is also calling on the Aquino regime to return to the negotiating table and enter into the second phase of peace talks with the NDFP which are supposed to cover social and economic reforms. Lastly SF CHRP recognizes the need for the elimination of OpBay as the real target of this counter-insurgency program are the masses of Filipino people in the countryside and national democratic activists and unarmed combatants