The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) has continued to defy International Humanitarian Laws (IHL).
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recorded 111 more cases of IHL violations, ranging from using child warriors, destruction of civilian properties, unabated use of landmines and willful killings only in the first half of 2021 on top of the 1,506 violations committed since 2010.
At the weekly virtual press conference of the National Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on Monday, Brig. Gen. Joel Alejandro Nacnac, director of the AFP Center for Law of Armed Conflict (AFP-CLOAC), reported that with these new IHL violations, the number of heinous crimes by the CPP-NPA-NDF against the Filipino people and humanity has ballooned to 1,617.
Nacnac also said the 1,506 IHL violations previously committed by the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) from 2010 to 2020 are now being investigated by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
These same set of cases were also submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to be passed on to local courts that have jurisdiction over them—charging them with violation of the country’s localized human rights laws including Republic Act (RA) 9851.
These atrocities, which are deemed heinous under the various Protocols of the Geneva Conventions, continue to increase as the CPP-NPA-NDF become more desperate and ruthless, with the recent incidents involving torching a number of heavy equipment in Northern Samar owned by construction companies tasked to finish government projects in the province.
Nacnac said of the recorded 1,617 IHL violations, there were 309 incidents of willful killings, 199 incidents of using anti-personnel mines (APMs), 560 incidents of children involved in armed conflict, 542 incidents of destruction of properties, and seven other IHL violations.
A total of 458 people were killed in these incidents.
Nacnac said the number of casualties (injured or killed) from the CTGs’ willful killings hit 405, 32 of which happened only during the first semester of this year.
The AFP-CLOAC report showed that out of these casualties, 325 were civilians and 80 were from the military.
Nacnac added that Region 13 (Caraga) recorded the highest number of willful killings with 52.
On the use of APMs which is prohibited under Ottawa Convention of 1997 or the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty, the CPP-NPA-NDF have killed a total of 42 and wounded 217 people. These include the killing of football star Kieth Absalon and his cousin Nolven in Masbate City on June 6.
Nacnac said of the 560 incidents of using children as armed combatants, eight were killed, 11 were wounded, five were rescued, and at least 470 surrendered.
He also said 119 of these incidents happened in Region 11 (Davao region)
He added that out of the 542 incidents of destroying civilian properties, 117 incidents happened in Region 13 alone.
Nacnac reported the cases in observance of the International Humanitarian Law Day (IHLD) on Aug. 12 and the whole month of August as IHL Month (IHLM) as mandated by Executive Order No. 134 of 1999 in support of said IHLD and IHLM.
He said the AFP adheres to the enforcement of IHL through Administrative Order (AO) No. 35 creating the Mechanics of Enforcement of the IHL headed by the DOJ.