CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – A senior official of the regional office of the Commission of Human Rights has called on the members of the New People’s Army ‘not to commit dastardly acts’ during his visit in this camp today.
CHR Region 5 Director Pelagio Senar made the statement during an ‘ambush’ interview with the local media. He came to deliver his inspirational message during the conduct of 9ID’s troop information and education held in the camp’s grandstand at around 10:00am.
Senar was referring to the reported rising numbers of extra-judicial killings perpetrated by the NPA which, this year alone, had claimed at least 34 people including 12 of 9ID’s soldiers and militiamen.
“The NPA can only engage the soldiers and militiamen, the combatants, during combat engagements. If you are a non-combatant, termed as ‘hors de combat’, or if you have no firearm, you are not supposed to be killed, that is human rights violation,” said Senar.
Asked about the CPP-NPA-NDF’s continuous outcry about allegations of human rights abuses by the Philippine Army , Senar said that, “Dyan sila nagkakamali”.
“The NPA would like the government forces’ adherence to the International Humanitarian Law; so, they (NPA) must also observe the same provisions. Hindi lang dapat ang Philippine Army ang mag-observe nyan(IHL)”.
Senar also expressed appreciation for the Army’s continuous indoctrination campaign to educate the soldiers on human rights protection.
“The minor infractions allegedly committed by the soldiers in the Bicol Region are practically negligible,” commented Senar.
Army officials led by Colonel Arthur Ang, the 9ID’s Chief of Staff, toured Senar to the various camp facilities. He (Senar) was shown the Army’s detention center where soldiers with various administrative cases are currently held in custody.
As the soldiers vowed to uphold the provisions of the international humanitarian law, the CPP-NPA-NDF has turned deaf ears on the mounting calls for them to stop committing human rights abuses.
Senar’s visit was punctuated by the NPA’s latest extrajudicial killing when Sonny Rey Diolata, 24, of Tigkiw village in Gubat, Sorsogon was shot and killed by two NPA assassins in front of his wife and children inside his residence at around 7:45pm last night (September 10).
The rebels fled the crime scene after ensuring that Diolata was dead. Responding policemen from Gubat town recovered empty shells for Cal .45 pistol and 9mm pistol.
The death of Diolata followed after the exhumation of the skeletal remains of a certain Julius Escudero (previously identified as Julius Espadera) by Army troops on September 9, Thursday. Escudero was a victim of the NPA’s summary execution sometime in 2006.