Military rebuts NPA rights violation claims

Published April 19, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Danny J. Estacio

Camp Nakar, Quezon — The military’s Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) is standing firm in supporting human rights and international humanitarian law, as it rebutted claims by the New People’s Army (NPA) that it executed one of its fighters on April 9 in Camarines Sur.

First Lieutenant Felise Vida P. Solano, SOLCOM spokesman, derided the NPA claims as false and pure lies.

Solano cited an incident where government troops captured a wounded rebel following an encounter last week. The rebel, who was near death, was treated by a military medical team.

In contrast, Solano said the military captured a guerilla who was just 15 years old. The boy’s recruitment as a combatant by the NPA is a 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 Labor.

Solano said the boy was turned over to social welfare officials.

It was just one of the many instances when SOLCOM demonstrated its love for fellow Filipinos, Solano said.

The communists, meanwhile, continue to spread fear and lies to recruit minors, women, and farmers, and extort money from local businessmen and entrepreneurs, she said.

She added that SOLCOM will remain committed to protect the people from rebel atrocities. It will not be bullied into submission by any terrorist group that threatens the peace and security the communities and stakeholders have built, Solano said.

She called on the rebels to surrender and allow the government to help them rebuild their lives. She also urged the families of the rebels to help the military rescue their relatives from exploitation. Solano stressed.