CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Human Rights Office (AFPHRO) dismissed the Communist Party of the Philippines’ claims that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) does not have jurisdiction over the communist groups and cannot act on the submitted destructive incidents committed against civilians by the CPP-NPA-NDF.
Colonel Joel Alejandro Nacnac, Chief of the AFPHRO, also belied the statement of the CPP that they have remunerated victims of atrocities by the terrorist group New People's Army.
"What they are perceiving are far from reality. The victims of their destructive armed struggle decry for justice," Colonel Nacnac said.
"Owners of property destroyed by the NPA do not know where to file complaint for they are not aware of RA9851 and the CHR’s role in assisting them as victims of IHL violations. But this time, victims will be assisted because we already submitted the cases to the CHR. Hindi dapat pangunahan ng CPP ang gagawing imbestigasyon ng CHR. Tinatakot ba nila ang CHR," Col Nacnac added.
The AFP earlier submitted a report to and sought the assistance of the CHR to investigate 532 incidents of attacks on civilians and their properties perpetrated by the communist terrorist group since 2010.
Pursuant to RA 9851, the Commission on Human Rights is one of the national agencies in the Philippines that is tasked to investigate violations of international humanitarian law, genocide and other crimes against humanity.
Earlier, the CHR on February 12, 2018 passed a Resolution adopting the policy guidelines on the role of the CHR in the advocacy for the observance of IHL and in the investigation and monitoring of violations of IHL, Genocide and other crimes against humanity under RA 9851.
It is exemplified in the said Resolution that the CHR vests authority on and task all CHR Regional Directors, Special Investigators and Lawyers nationwide to timely investigate motu proprio or upon complaint, any and all violations under RA 9851.
It shall likewise on its own, or upon recommendation by the Protection Officer or Regional Office, conduct a public inquiry on IHL violations. The CHR regional office concerned shall coordinate with appropriate government offices and/or agencies, like the AFP, to ensure timely, comprehensive and unhampered investigations of IHL cases.
“Section 18, paragraph 2 and 3 of RA 9851 specifically provides that the Supreme Court shall designate special courts to try cases involving crimes punishable under the said Act. The CHR, DOJ and the PNP and other concerned agencies shall designate investigators or prosecutors to investigate or prosecute IHL violations of either government forces or armed groups like the CPP-NPA-NDF” he added.
But the CPP claimed that it is better for the AFP to file complaints to the NDFP section of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC), which is tasked to monitor violations of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines – National Democratic Front of the Philippines (GRP-NDFP) Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).
“They should be made aware that CARHRIHL is a mere agreement that is no longer in existense and the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) has long been dissolved. The JMC cannot replace the role of the CHR," Col Nacnac said.
Even if the NDFP’s JMC acted upon complaints before it, it cannot issue a decision that can be legally implemented in the country because the JMC is not a duly constituted Trial Court and the CARHRIHL is already inoperative, hence the JMC is no longer active.
The CPP-NPA-NDF has its own Kangaroo Court which violates Section 4(b)(4) of RA 9851 which provides that the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all judicial guarantees which are generally recognized as indispensable is considered as a war crime.
“They also pointed out that the NPA at times is ordered to seize and optionally paralyze or disable the property of some enterprises that violate the laws of the CNN’s Philippine Democratic Government (PDG). With this statement, they admitted that indeed members of the NPA were ordered to destroy civilian-owned properties to advance their armed struggle”, Col Nacnac added.
"We also appreciate the Article published by Ted Cordero of GMA News Online on January 9, 2021. The Article actually exposes the ills and lies of the CTG and it is good that the public may know about these destructive activities of the CPP-NPA-NDF," Col Nacnac said.
The AFP remains committed 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.///