NPA lashed for brazen disregard for humanitarian laws

Posted on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 and is filed under Government, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

MANILA /04 March 2014— The government peace panel for the negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF) assailed the NPA’s series of violations against international humanitarian laws (IHL) following their recent landmine attacks in Davao del Sur wounding civilians and security personnel alike.

“The attack by the NPA on a convoy of ambulances in the town of Bansalan, Davao del Sur using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) earlier today constitutes a clear-cut violation of IHL, or specifically Republic Act No. 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and other crimes against humanity,” the government panel noted.

“The protection accorded to medical personnel, especially those belonging to the Red Cross, their vehicles and installations, is one of the cornerstones of IHL.”

“It is only under very specific circumstances that such personnel, buildings or vehicles may lose such protection, namely when they take direct part in or used in direct support of the armed hostilities.”

The panel stressed that “the ambulances were en route to transport wounded soldiers, who likewise enjoy protection under IHL because they are, by virtue of their injuries hors de combat (incapable to perform their duties).”

“They [NPAs] targeted not only civilians but civilians on a medical or humanitarian mission—one of the most assiduously protected under the law.”

Lip service

The peace panel also recounted the rebels’ recent IED attack on the convoy of Mayor Jaime Mahimpit of President Roxas town in Cotabato, saying that “it is clear that the NPA have become increasingly brazen in their blatant disregard for even the most basic principles of IHL.”

“It is necessary to emphasize that, contrary to their representations, the NPA do not respect basic human rights or IHL, and that their so-called adherence to the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) is only lip-service, done at their convenience,” the panel stressed.

Recounting last year’s La Castellana massacre by the NPA, as well as their kidnapping of a mayor, the panel noted that “either the NPA have no real concept of who is entitled to protection under IHL, or that the only use they have for IHL is as a tool to vilify the government through their frivolous CARHRIHL complaints.”  (Ref:  OPAPP)

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