The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) assailed the clash between New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and government troops that killed two children in Northern Samar.
CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said their regional office in Eastern Visayas is looking into the incident that killed Andre Mercado, 12, and Leandro Alivio, 13, in Barangay Roxas, Catubig town on February 8.
“The international humanitarian law guarantees the protection of civilians against the effects of armed conflicts, especially among vulnerable sector such as children and women,” De Guia said in Filipino in a statement on Sunday.
De Guia emphasized that carrying out attacks in the presence of innocent civilians is a violation under Republic Act 9851, or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity.
“Our CHR office in Region 8 will investigate to look into possible violations and their possible liabilities,” she said in Filipino.
In May last year, the CHR probed 1,506 atrocities and IHL violations committed by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA and the National Democratic Front from 2010 to 2020.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The NDF was also formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973.