CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported a total of 532 incidents of destruction of civilian-owned property committed by Communist Terrorist Groups in armed violence since 2010.
The AFP Human Rights Office (AFPHRO) submitted to the Commission on Human Rights, for appropriate action, the list of incidents on Thursday, January 7. These were mostly by arson perpetrated by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
Data collected by the AFPHRO from field units provided factual and verifiable basis for the report. The figures which had been recorded as of date are expected to rise, as AFP units continue their inquiry and tender reports on the activities of non-state armed groups.
Colonel Joel Alejandro Nacnac, Chief of AFPHRO stated that the CPP-NPA-NDF’s acts of destroying civilian property has shown a nationwide pattern of organized, continuing, and systematic scheme as part of their violent struggle.
“To come up with a comprehensive statistical analysis which may lead to the filing of appropriate charges of IHL violations, our Office orchestrated the collection of data from lower AFP units and offices regarding the destruction of civilian owned property by the CNN. These unlawful activities constitute violation of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law as well as local laws such as RA 9851” he said.
As part of its mandate, the AFPHRO continues to monitor Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law violations by non-state armed groups such as the CPP-NPA-NDF. Its rebellion is the longest ongoing armed conflict in the Philippines with its armed components committing violent activities through the use of guerilla tactics for more than five decades now.
The AFP Chief of Staff, General Gilbert Gapay applauded the efforts of the AFPHRO for continuously exposing the CTGs. The groups’ persistent disregard of human rights and international humanitarian law by destroying civilian properties should not be targeted in the course of an armed conflict.
“With the assistance and support of the Commission on Human Rights, we will be able to put a stop to the CPP-NPA-NDF’s criminal acts. The AFP, through its Human Rights Office, will continuously coordinate with the appropriate agencies in this whole-of-nation approach towards just and lasting peace,” General Gapay said.
The AFP remains faithful to the rule of law and steadfast in upholding its constitutional duty to protect the people against all forms of threats, and let lasting peace and security prevail./// (Photo from AFPHRO)