Thursday, April 19, 2018

SOLCOM adheres to human rights accord; nixes Reds’ false claims

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 19): SOLCOM adheres to human rights accord; nixes Reds’ false claims

CAMP GEN. NAKAR, Lucena City, Quezon – The Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) branded as “false and pure lies” the outlawed communist insurgents’ claim that the military executed rebels during the April 9 clash in Camarines Sur.

In a statement, the Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) also said “(t)he Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is a strong advocate of human rights and international humanitarian law.”

It also said “there are many instances that the troops have been demonstrating their love for their fellow Filipino and dedication to the service.”

“On the contrary, the CPP-NPA-NDF continues to spread fear and lies to recruit minors, women and farmers, and extort money from local businessmen and entrepreneurs,” it added.

SOLCOM public information officer 1Lt. Felise Vida P. Solano told Philippine News Agency on Wednesday that contrary to the Communist Party of the Philippines -National Democratic Front-New Peoples' Army (CPP-NDF-NPA) claim, the military leadership here and the Southern Luzon units are in accord with the human rights observance and the International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

Solano said human rights was observed when they captured one of the wounded terrorists during last week's clash.

“He (the wounded insurgent) had a gunshot wound and was near death when the medical team revived him on site. He was given further medical treatment and is currently in stable condition,” she said.

She also referred to one of the captured terrorists as a 15-year-old boy, whose “participation in the armed struggle is the CPP-NPA’s clear violation of the rights of children as stated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour.”

SOLCOM has already turned over the child in conflict with the law (CICL) to the social welfare services office for proper disposition.

Solano also said the bodies of slain NPA members have been sent to funeral parlors to prepare them for proper burial and all other captured rebels have been referred to authorized agencies to undergo due process.

Solano said the SOLCOM leadership has been encouraging all CPP-NPA terrorists to lay down their arms and allow the government to help them rebuild their lives.

She said SOLCOM also continues to appeal to the families of the rebels to help military forces rescue their relatives from the communist terrorist group’s exploitation.

But SOLCOM maintains that it will continue its operation against communists who continue to fight.

“SOLCOM remains firm in its stand to continue to protect and serve the Filipino people from these atrocities. It will not be bullied into submission by any terrorist group that threatens the peace and security the communities and stakeholders have built. The AFP wholeheartedly supports peace programs by all stakeholders and will not withhold its participation and cooperation to push these endeavors into fruition,” the SOLCOM statement added.

It said that “those captured during armed encounters and apprehended during law enforcement operations shall face the consequences of their crimes.”

The SOLCOM leadership also vowed “it will not tolerate those among its ranks who will abuse the power and responsibility they have been given and encourage the community to report personnel who commit acts not befitting of his uniform.”

The military here also assured that all formal complaints forwarded to SOLCOM will undergo due process.

“Peace is the product of the stakeholders’ united effort. We call on every citizen to do their part, even in a simple way, such as reporting unfamiliar faces in their communities and following government rules and regulations, in our quest for peace. There is much we can achieve when we do it together,” the SOLCOM statement stated.

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