Anti-communist groups on Friday said the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) must bring up the violence perpetrated by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) to the international level.
Members of the League of Parents of the Philippines (LPP) and Liga Independencia Pilipinas (LIPI), Citizens Crime Watch, and parents of students who were recruited by militant groups staged a picket rally in front of the CHR building in Quezon City to urge the agency to “act on the communists’ use of anti-personnel mines (APMs), which is clearly a violation of the international humanitarian law.”
The placard-bearing rallyists burned effigies of the communist terrorist groups (CTGs).
LIPI secretary general Jose Antonio Goitia read the official statement of the groups, saying it is never enough to simply condemn wrongdoings by CTGs.
“The Filipino people are sick and tired of the atrocities and killings perpetrated by the CTGs of the CPP-NPA-NDF. Even the CHR remains passive in their wrongdoings. It was a product of strong pressure from the various sectors for the CHR to make necessary condemnation against the communists. But the action is incomplete in nature,” the statement read.
Citing the Ottawa Treaty of the 1997 APM Ban Convention, LPP chair Remy Rosadio said condemning the communists alone would not bring justice.
Rosadio pointed out the CPP-NPA-NDF must be held liable for attacking civilians and its allied organizations must be punished for recruiting minors and turning them into combatants.
“It hurts me much as a parent, seeing the innocence of these recruited children were taken away from them, and they were lured to believe wrong ideologies. They were brought to the mountains to die for nothing. We must not wait any longer because the more we wait for actions, it will give them time to recruit more of our Filipino children. So why not act now?” she said in an interview.
Countries voluntarily came together in 1997 in Canada and negotiated the Ottawa Treaty, an international agreement comprehensively banning the development, production, stockpiling, transfer and use of APM, and requiring their destruction.
The treaty marked the first time that countries, through international humanitarian law, agreed to ban completely a weapon already in widespread use.
The CHR should push for necessary steps that would put an end to the CTGs’ atrocities other than releasing a regular condemnation statement, according to Rosadio.
“We are asking the CHR to conduct an investigation on the use of APMs of the CTGs as terroristic weapons,” she added.
The groups likewise told the CHR to come up with a resolution to officially declare the CPP-NPA-NDF as the enemy of the human rights body.