By CPP Information Bureau
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today denounced the Aquino regime and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for 'successive gross violations of human rights of unarmed civilians by fascist state agents' in the course of military operations being carried out nationwide in the continuation of the Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL, Operation Freedom Watch, the national security program of the government of the Republic of the Philippines since 2002 — ed.).
The CPP said that OBL has caused intensified human rights violations throughout the last decade. "Aquino's soldiers are exhibiting utter impunity in attacking civilians who are considered combatants in the OBL's 'counter-insurgency' doctrine."
"The attacks against civilians violate the Geneva Conventions and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHRIHL), which give primacy to the protection of the rights and welfare of unarmed civilians in the course of the war," said the CPP.
"The increasing number of cases of AFP abuses against civilians point out to the hypocrisy of Benigno Aquino III and his military officials who claim that protection of human rights are among the priorities of the AFP," added the CPP. "These statements have been proven to be nothing but lies and fascist psywar that parallel their 'silent war' against suspected supporters of the New People's Army and the revolutionary movement."
The CPP cited, for one, the massacre of four farmers last September 7 in Brgy. Sta. Maria, Mobo, Masbate. The victims were Vicente Flores, 41, Richard Oliva, 44, Melecio Monacelio, 45 and his son Jonathan Monacelio, 21, a student of Sta. Maria High School. The four civilians who were resting after hunting were suddenly fired upon by troops of the 9th Infantry Battalion. Officials of the 9th IB later claimed that the farmers were NPA members killed in an armed encounter with their men.
Two days earlier, 10 armed men believed to be soldiers roughed up Warren Morilla, a barangay official in his own home in Brgy. Florista in Libon town, Albay, as they tried to force him to identify the houses of NPA rebels allegedly living in the barangay. After denying knowledge of supposed NPA presence in their community, the armed men then dragged him out of his house, covered his head with a plastic bag and hit different parts of his body with the butts of their rifles. His wallet, two bolos and a pair of slippers were taken by the armed men before he was forced to sign a document stating no items were taken and no one was hurt during the search.
The CPP also cited the illegal arrest, torture and continuing detention of brothers Cesar and Juanito Gabac of Brgy. Anagasi, Paranas town in Samar province. Last July 25, 34th IB troops the Gabac brothers, together with their mother Lucia, from their home. The CPP said the Gabac brothers who were made to appear as NPA surrenderees were coerced into guiding the soldiers in their military operations in the surrounding areas. They were also forced to deny on radio that they suffered human rights violations. The Gabac brothers continue to be under illegal military detention.
In Southern Mindanao, the CPP disclosed that civilians Zosimo Tapia and Boy Devasura of So. Tugpan, Brgy. Sampagita, Veruela, Agusan del Sur were forced to guide military operations of the 26th Infantry Battalion against the NPA last August 25. The soldiers endangered their lives by putting them in the line of fire. Tapia was wounded in the AFP raid.
These are just the most recent cases of violations of the rights of unarmed civilians by the AFP, said the CPP. "There have been numerous other cases reported since the onset of the US-Aquino regime."
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