Reds face 19 charges for CARHRIHL violations

DAVAO CITY, May 8 (PNA) — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), were slapped with 19 charges for alleged violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

Capt. Rhyan Batchar, 10th Infantry Division spokesperson, said Monday they filed the complaints before the Secretariat of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC).

Copies of the formal complaints were already forwarded last week to the JMC of CARHRIHL; Secretary Silvestre H Bello, chairman of the GPH negotiating Panel; and Fidel V. Agcaoili, chairman of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) panel, Batchar said.

CARHRIHL was signed by the government and the NDFP in 1998. It provides for the creation of the JMC.

Batchar said that 15 of the alleged violations of the communist rebels were 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.

The four other violations were purportedly perpetrated against soldiers and a member of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit, he added.

Batchar said that three remains of dead soldiers were mutilated by the NPAs in violation of Article 3.4, Part 4 of the agreement.

Cases of burning of civilian vehicles by the NPAs were also included in the complaint, he said.

These cases were the burning of Yellow Bus Line units, Husky bus, one passenger van, an elf truck and one dump truck and the destruction of heavy equipment owned by civilian companies – three of which belong to construction firms and the packing plant of Dole-Stanfilco.

The violations included in the complaints were committed from February 2016 to January 2017, Batchar said.

“We are hoping that the violations (allegedly) committed by the NPAs against the provisions of CARHRIHL will be thoroughly discussed by the members of the government and NDFP peace panels,” Batchar said. (Alexander Lopez/PNA)