Aquino's termination of peace talks has worsened AFP's disregard for humanitarian law--CPP

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
July 09, 2013

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said that by terminating peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the Aquino regime has further emboldened the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the conduct of its brutal war of suppression and worsened its disregard for human rights and international humanitarian law.

The CPP said the recent armed encounter between the troops of the 31st Infantry Battalion and a unit of the New People's Army (NPA) in Juban, Sorsogon shows how the AFP completely disregarded the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) when it proceeded with the summary execution of three NPA fighters even after they have already been rendered incapable of fighting and defending themselves.

According to field reports, Frankie Joe Soriano (Ka Greg BaƱares), Christine Puche (Ka Nel) and Ted Palacio (Ka Gary) were already unarmed when they were attempting to retreat from the main battle area. "They should have been accosted, detained and treated as prisoners of war in order to protect their rights under the CARHRIHL and international humanitarian law, but were instead fired upon with utter impunity."

The CPP pointed out that the NPA strictly adheres to international rules governing armed engagements to protect the rights of civilians as well as combatants who have been rendered hors de combat (incapable of fighting) as a result of sickness, wounds or any other cause.

"Just last June 28, NPA fighters exhibited its adherence to the CARHRIHL and its own internal rules when it collected, assisted and treated the wounded police officers who were injured when the Red fighters of the NPA Leonardo Pacsi Command ambushed a training unit of the PNP Regional Public Safety Battalion in Tadian, Mountain Province."

"In stark contrast to the NPA's respect for human rights and humanitarian law, the AFP has been exhibited utter disregard of rules and has shown its impunity in carrying out summary executions, torture and other forms of brutalities in the course of the conduct of its Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression," said the CPP.

"In terminating peace negotiations with the NDFP and without explicit commitment to the agreements, the Aquino regime is virtually telling the AFP not to be encumbered by the CARHRIHL and carry out its war of suppression with all-out brutality and impunity," pointed out the CPP.

"The CPP maintains that the CARHRIHL is a crucial agreement that must be respected as a body of rules which govern the conduct of the civil war with the aim of guaranteeing the rights of the civilians and people protected under international humanitarian law," pointed out the CPP. "The more the armed conflict rages, the more important the CARHRIHL becomes."

"By terminating peace negotiations, the Aquino regime wants to render the CARHRIHL useless."

The CPP reiterates its position that formal peace negotiations must proceed on the basis of the principles set forth by The Hague Joint Declaration and after compliance by of previous agreements, including the CARHRIHL as well as the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).