AFP Chief calls for stronger coordination with human rights bodies

by Warren Ryan Revoltar

General Gilbert Gapay, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, directed military units to enhance coordination with human rights bodies such as the Commission on Human Rights in flagging human rights abuses committed by communists terrorists.

He issued the directive during the year-end Command Conference attended by top military officers on January 15.

“Let us endeavor to raise all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law to legitimate organizations that are mandated to protect and promote the well-being of non-combatants,” General Gapay said.

The AFP earlier submitted a report to and sought the assistance of the CHR to investigate 532 incidents of attacks on civilians and their properties perpetrated by the communist terrorist group since 2010.

The same report was also submitted to the United Nations through the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights and the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines.

Last year, the AFP also submitted a report to the UN and CHR detailing a list of child warriors employed by the communist terrorist group.

A total of 544 minors were used and exploited by the CPP-NPA-NDF according to the document signed by the AFP Human Rights Office Chief Colonel Alejandro S. Nacnac. According to the report, these so-called child warriors were used by the said group in its armed activities.

“It is now the time to unmask the New People’s Army and their front organizations for who they are–human rights violators and purveyors of violence towards civilians,” General Gapay said.

General Gapay called out communist terrorist leader Jose Maria Sison who earlier goaded NPAs to carry out executions in urban areas.

“Let us empower civilian agencies and work together with them in ensuring that pertinent laws are respected and the full weight of the law pressed upon the violators,” General Gapay added. — Armed Forces of the Philippines

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