The Armed Forces of the Philippines has sent to the United Nations (UN) a report on all the violent attacks allegedly committed by the New People’s Army (NPA) against civilians and their properties, a military official bared Tuesday.
Colonel Joel Alejandro Nacnac, chief of AFP Human Rights Office, said the report listed a total of 532 NPA attacks which had been monitored since 2010.
He said the report was submitted last Monday, January 11, to Ms. Signe Poulsen, Representative to the Philippines of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Mr. Gustavo Gonzales, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines.
A copy of the report was also sent to Undersecretary Severo Catura, executive director of the Presidential Human Rights Committee; and Assistant Secretary Noralyn Jubaira-Baja, of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Office of the United Nations and International Organizations.
Nacnac said they submitted the report “[to] tell the UN main office that it is the CTG [communist-terrorist groups] and not the AFP [which] is committing human rights or International Humanitarian Law (IHL) violations.”
The report was initially sent by the AFP to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) last January 7 as they sought a partnership with the Commission in probing the NPA for hundreds of its attacks against civilians and civilian properties.
Nacnac said that the NPA’s acts of destroying civilian properties “are indications of a nationwide pattern of organized, continuing, and systematic scheme aimed at terrorizing communities and generating funds.”
Most of the attacks perpetrated by the NPA over the past decade involved the burning of private properties, the AFP official added.
However, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) defended the destruction of civilian properties by its NPA units as it said that these attacks were only done “to protect the people and the environment.”
Among the reports about the torching of civilian properties were committed against private companies that have development projects in rural areas, it said.
“In mounting military offensives, the NPA always ensures that no civilian will be hurt or no civilian property will be damaged. Those who suffered damage are compensated,” the CPP said in a statement.
The CPP also downplayed the AFP’s initiative since it said that the CHR has no jurisdiction over them.
The Party said it would have been better if they submitted the report to the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), which monitors the violations of the government (GRP) and the NDFP under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).
Nacnac dismissed the CPP’s defense and urged them not to assail the CHR if it decides to make an investigation of their atrocities.
“Hindi dapat pangunahan ng CPP ang gagawing imbestigasyon ng CHR. Tinatakot ba nila ang CHR? (The CPP should not jump ahead of the CHR’s investigation. Are they threatening the CHR?)” Nacnac said.