The military taking photos showing firearms and subversive materials recovered from the New People’s Army (NPA) and the corpse of slain NPA rebel Jevilyn Cullamat is part of the military’s documentation in the aftermath of an armed clash.
This is according to lawyer Gabriel S. Villanueva, Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) spokesperson to the National Rask Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
“The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) is clear that it is part of their protocol to document casualties, recovered items, and other pertinent details of an armed counter, should the circumstances permit,” Villanueva said.
This protocol, he said, is not intended to desecrate or disrespect human casualties in armed hostilities but rather to document the aftermath to serve many important purposes.
“It also helps them in identifying casualties later on, which could not be identified at the time of documentation or if no one within the area could help establish their identities,” he added.
The OSG official issued his statement amid criticisms that soldiers used the dead body of Jevilyn, the youngest daughter of Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Eufemia Cullamat, as a trophy.
Jevilyn was killed in a firefight with government troops in the hinterlands of Barangay San Isidro, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur last November 28. SOVEREIGNPH