Sun. Jul 25th, 2021

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) joined the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in condemning the use by communists of land mines or anti-personnel mines (APMs) in Jipapad, Eastern Samar where scores of unarmed soldiers were killed and injured.

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“It became clear when these two recent cases happened — the case of Absalon cousins, and the case in Eastern Samar, we have continuously condemned the use of improvised explosive devices such as landmines, simply because it violates the spirit and principle of the International Humanitarian Law,” CHR deputy spokesperson Mark Siapno said in Filipino during the regular virtual press briefing of the NTF-ELCAC on Monday.

Siapno said all the crimes committed by the NPA “are all accounted for,” assuring that the CHR will investigate and seek justice for the victims.

“We condemn all forms of violence, the use of APMs,” Siapno said.

He also reiterated the government’s call that the Communist Party of the Philippines- News People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) should be held accountable for all other crimes they have perpetrated against the Filipino people in violation of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Laws from the moment they started their armed conflict.

Siapno said the latest ambush staged by the NPAs against the members of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in Easter Samar shows the reckless belief of communist terrorist groups (CTGs) that they are allowed to do anything in the pursuit of their ideology and supposed rights.

“We need to file charges because the CHR also believes that we cannot use any ideology to say that it is okay to violate human rights or we need to skirt away from responsibilities from the crimes committed,” he added in Filipino.

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