AFP still waiting for militant groups to condemn CPP-NPA atrocities

Published May 1, 2019, 4:39 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By the Philippine News Agency

The military is still waiting for progressive militant groups to condemn the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) for atrocities and human rights violation committed through the years.

“I have here compilation of several instances of murder, premeditated killing and other human rights violations committed by the members of the CPP-NPA that we have long been asking them to condemn but so far we have not heard anything from them,” Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a media briefing Tuesday.

Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

He was referring to the ambush-slay of village chief Apolinario Lebico that injured his son-in-law, in Las Navas, Northern Samar last April 25; the brutal slay of two ex-rebels from the Higaonan tribe last April 18 and 23 in Butuan City; the anti-personnel mine attack which killed a 10-year-old boy in Las Navas, Northern Samar in April 17; kidnap-slay of Hanunuo Mangyan leader Jose D. Barrera in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro last April 12; abduction of a barangay chairman and two others in Bansud town, Oriental Mindoro last April 5; torching and destruction of the hydropower plant equipment in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro last February 25 among other atrocities.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

“(Major) Gen. Antonio Parlade (AFP deputy chief-of-staff for civil-military operations and of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC), (for his part), already invited them for a live TV debate on matters that needed to be discussed, on matters that they are saying the AFP is guilty about. So far none has been heard about them,” Arevalo said.

The AFP spokesperson also cited the case of Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate, who sponsored an inquiry to look into the supposed militarization in Davao and Surigao villages as alleged by their Salugpungan and Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood (ALCADEV) schools.

No show

“For the information of everyone, (there) was the act of Congressman Zarate to sponsor a house bill that would tend to go to the places like Davao and Surigao or the areas where we have ALCADEV schools and ‘Salugpungan’ schools to investigate and determine for themselves whether there indeed exists militarization on these villages on account of these communities schools as they accused the AFP,” he said.

“So far as there were two instances they were supposed to be there, they did not show themselves up. Congressman Zarate, hindi siya sumipot sa pagpunta sa (did not show up in the inspection on) ‘Salugpungan’ schools at itong huling sked (the last schedule), just over the weekend (April 28 and 29) Congressman Zarate and his team also did not show up in the investigation for ALCADEV schools,” Arevalo said.

The non-appearance of Zarate and his team is an indication that these party-list groups are not willing and ready to confront the AFP on accusations they have made themselves.

At nalaman natin dito sa pamamagitan ng mga guro mismo na nagsalita at mga magulang na nagsalita dito sa (And we learned through the teachers who spoke as well as the parents who proved that) Salugpungan at ALCADEV schools that indeed ‘yung sinasabi ng NTF (ELCAC) kung saan ang mga tinuturo sa mga kabataan ay mga paghawak ng armas, subersibong dokumento at mga (the ones mentioned by the NTF ELCAC where young people are trained to use firearms and are taught using subversive documents and) references. Ang mga pinapakita ay napatunayan sa pagbisitang ito ni (These were proven true during the visit of) (Major) Gen. Parlade and the rest of the team from the AFP, notwithstanding the fact na si (that it was) Congressman Zarate mismo ang humingi (himself who asked) for a House resolution to investigate this,” the AFP spokesperson stressed.