By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
The Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) today condemns in the strongest possible terms the violation by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) of the rights under International Humanitarian Law of Comrade Elizalde (Ka Jinngoy) Cañete as a wounded hors de combat.
Ka Jinggoy was captured after an armed encounter with troops of the 10th Infantry Division (ID) of the Philippine Army (PA) under Major General Carlos Holganza in Barangay Sarmiento, Laak, Compostela Valley, in southern Philippines. He was suffering from several gunshot wounds when he was captured on 30 January 2010.
He was first brought to Camp Panacan Naval Hospital before being sent for surgery on 31 January to the Davao Medical Center (DMC), where he was placed under heavy military guard. Three days later, despite the freshness of his surgical wounds, Ka Jinggoy was forcibly transferred back to Camp Panacan Naval Hospital from the DMC without court order, and against the advice of his attending surgeon. The protests of his mother and sister were disregarded by the military.
His mother and sister have been worried about his condition at the AFP military hospital since his transfer. Ka Jinggoy has been suffering chills due to high fever. His stomach has also become bloated and his body pale and yellowish. He has been having shortness of breath and has been frequently requesting for oxygen.
The forcible transfer of Ka Jinggoy against the advice of his attending surgeon and the utter disregard by the AFP military for his physical integrity are gross violations of his rights under International Humanitarian Law. The AFP military are trampling on the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).
It should be remembered that last 28 November 2009, the father of Ka Jinggoy was murdered by persons believed to be agents of the 7th Special Forces of the 25th Infantry Battalion under the 10th ID. Ka Jinggoy’s father was last seen talking with these persons before he was discovered dead with multiple gunshot wounds the following morning.
The NDFP Human Rights Committee has informed the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) about the situation of Comrade Cañete.
We shall hold the regime of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo responsible for whatever further harm Ka Jinggoy may suffer in the hands of the AFP. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) has become notorious for its utter disregard for and outright violations of International Humanitarian Law in the ongoing armed conflict between the GRP and the NDFP.