Multiple charges

Army files 19 complaints vs NPA
THE PHILIPPINE Army has filed 19 complaints before the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC)  against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), for gross violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

Captain Rhyan Batchar, information officer of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said the complaints were already forwarded to the JMC of CARHRIHL, government negotiating panel chair Sec. Silvestre Bello, and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) panel chair Fidel Agcaoili.

Batchar said that 15 of the violations they filed were allegedly perpetrated against civilians in violation of Article 4.4, Part IV of CARHRIHL, which states that civilians, together with their property, shall not be the object of attacks.

These include the burning of nine civilian vehicles, attack and burning of four civilian companies’ equipment and facilities, the murder of a civilian and the harassment of another civilian.

The civilian vehicles burned by the CPP-NPA include five Yellow Bus Line (YBL) buses, a Husky bus, one passenger van, an elf truck and one dump truck.

The attacks on civilian companies were the burning of heavy equipment of three construction companies and the packing plant of Dole-Stanfilco.

The four remaining violations were for the mutilation of the remains of three soldiers in violation of Article 3.4 of Part 4 of the agreement and the killings of three soldiers and a CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA), who were off-duty, unarmed and in civilian clothes in violation of Article 4.1 of Part 4 of CARHRIHL.

These violations were allegedly committed from February 2016 to January 2017.  Thus, recent NPA atrocities such as the Lapanday attacks were not yet included.

Five of the attacks were perpetrated by the NPAs in South Cotabato, four in Sarangani, three each in North Cotabato and Davao del Sur, two in Davao Oriental, and one each in Davao Occidental, and Compostela Valley.

Batchar specifically enumerated the violations committed by the NPAs, to wit:

1)     Killing of civilian Bernabe Abanilla of Doroluman, Arakan, North Cotabato on Feb. 7, 2016;

2)     Killing of Cpl. Wenie Dacuag and PFC Jestony Orca, who were off-duty, unarmed and in civilian attire on June 10, 2016;

3)     Mutilation of the dead bodies of Corporals Jimmy Bayta and Cpl Gilmar Mapa and PFC Rolen Roy Sarmiento on Aug. 5, 2016;

4)     Killing of CAA Oscar Emba who was unarmed and in civilian clothes in Kidapawan City on Aug. 11, 2016;

5)     Killing of Cpl Randy Santa Iglesia who was off-duty, unarmed and in civilian attire in Lupon, Davao Oriental on Sept. 15, 2016;

6)     Attack and burning of heavy equipment of Rock Mixer Company, which was implementing a government project at Alabel, Sarangani on Nov. 9, 2016;

7)     Burning of a civilian-owned Mitsubishi Elf Truck in Matanao, Davao del Sur on Nov. 9, 2016;

8)     Burning of a YBL bus in Kiamba, Sarangani on Nov. 24, 2016;

9)     Burning of a YBL bus in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur on Nov. 26, 2016;

10) Burning of a civilian-owned dump truck in Malita, Davao Occidental on Dec. 2 2016;

11) Burning of heavy equipment of Quick Mix and Happy Living Quarry in Koronadal, South Cotabato on Dec. 6, 2016;

12) Burning of a YBL bus in Tupi, South Cotabato on Dec. 13, 2016;

13) Burning of a YBK bus in Sto. Niño, South Cotabato on Dec. 13, 2016;

14) Burning of heavy equipment of Filmix Concrete Industries Inc. in Digos City, Davao del Sur on Dec. 18, 2016;

15) Burning of packing plant of Dole–Stanfilco in Surallah, South Cotabato on Dec. 19 2016;

16) Burning of a Husky bus in Koronadal City, South Cotabato on Dec. 21, 2016;

17) Burning of a YBL bus in Kiamba, Sarangani on Jan. 5, 2017;

18) Harassment of a truck driver of Santos Land Development Corporation in Makilala, Cotabato on Jan. 20, 2017; and

19) Burning of a passenger van in Kiamba, Sarangani on Jan. 30 2017.

Batchar said they are hoping that members of the government and NDFP peace panels will thoroughly discuss the violations and that appropriate actions are taken to stop the CPP-NPA from further violating human rights and the international humanitarian law.

“We likewise urge other government agencies to assist the victims of these senseless violence committed by the CPP-NPA against the Filipino people, so that appropriate complaints can be filed not only in the JMC but also in the proper courts,” Batchar added.

“We call on the CPP-NPA to end these senseless violence against civilians and their properties to show your sincerity in the on-going peace talks,” he added.