Thursday, January 02, 2014

Army condemns NPA’s continued ruthless killings and violation of CARHRIHL

Camp Peralta, Jamindan, Capiz – The Philippine Army here in Western Visayas condemned the continued ruthless killings of the New People’s Army (NPA) and its violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

Last December 30, 2013, Demetrio Capilastique known as “Hugo” was shot to death in Brgy Linaywan, Badiangan, Iloilo by members of the SPARU unit of the NPA. Alias “Hugo” is a ranking leader of the NPA’s rival group Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) here in Panay Island.

Brigadier General Arnold Quiapo, 301st Brigade Commander said “This is an inhumane act of the NPA, against the law hence, cannot be justified. Any issue against Capilastique should be brought to the proper court and let him answer to our proper judicial system. While the CNN took responsibility for the killing, they should bring those culprits from within their ranks to the courts of law.”

A day following the killing, the CPP-NPA-NDFP (CNN) in an issued statement, took responsibility for the assassination of alias “Hugo”. Hugo was charged by the CPP-NPA of several crimes against the movement and the so called ‘NPA’s court system’, one of which is the crime of mutiny against the CPP-NPA in the Southern Front of Panay in 1994.

Meantime, it can be recalled that last January 25, 2013, a ranking leader of the RPA-ABB Joven Tababa was shot to death by the NPA in Tigbauan, Iloilo. The CNN also took responsibility and tried to justify the killing.

Tababa was with his 7-year old daughter when he was shot and succumbed to gunshots and eventually died on the spot; however his daughter managed to flee.

A day after the incident January 26, 2013 around 8 pm, a certain Gina Genilan Gestalao alias Neneng, 35 years old, wife of a former RPA-ABB member and a resident of Bulho, San Joaquin, Iloilo, was shot to death by the NPA hitting her right upper breast and left portion of her eye.

The NPA’s attack on non-combatants is clearly a violation of the CARHRIHL which the CPP/NPA/NDFP is a signatory.

UN questioned CPP/NPA/NDF’s “people’s courts”

In Page 14 of the Philip Alston report of the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions from 2004-2010, it stated that “the CPP/NPA/NDF’s system of “people’s courts” is either deeply flawed or simply a sham. The question whether the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) can be interpreted to affirm the CPP/NPA/NDF’s contention that it has a right to constitute courts and conduct trials is a matter of controversy.”

While no judicial process is involved in the NPA’s way of imposing punishment for both ordinary and counter revolutionary crimes, Alston stated that “failure to respect due process norms constitutes a violation of IHL for the CPP/NPA/NDF and may constitute a war crime for participating cadres.”

Major General Aurelio Baladad, Commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division said “These unlawful killings and blatant violation of human rights and the International Humanitarian Law of the NPA must be stopped. The democratic government and the Filipino people want a justice system that is not served through killings.” 
To start the year right, Baladad called for peace towards the CNN and urged the NPA to instead lay down their arms, abandon the armed struggle and join the mainstream society in bringing peace and development especially in the countryside.

“Our Bayanihan efforts to bring peace and development in the countryside will continue as we start the year. We call on the public to be vigilant and let us work together in addressing the challenges of peace,” Baladad added.

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