The spokesman of the negotiating panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and chairman of the NDFP Monitoring Committee (NDFP-MC) Fidel V. Agcaoili today lambasted the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) in falsely accusing the New People's Army (NPA) of civilian killings in the armed conflict.
While welcoming the Macapagal-Arroyo regime's grudging recognition of the responsibility of the NPA towards civilians in the conduct of the armed conflict, Agcaoili compared the regime with the Marcos fascist dictatorship in falsely accusing the revolutionary forces of its own crimes.
"I am sure General Eduardo Ermita still remembers the alleged abduction of Tommy Manotoc perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) but blamed on the NPA by his Office of Civilian Relations (OCR) during the martial law period,"" Agcaoili said. "Ermita is repeating his old tricks under the Macapagal-Arroyo regime," he added.
"Like its exemplar the Marcos fascist regime, the Macapagal-Arroyo government likes to dish out lies and false charges against the revolutionary forces and the NPA in order to cover up its own grave abuses and systematic violations of human rights. Without any basis and substantiation, the Macapagal-Arroyo regime accuses the NPA of alleged civilian killings, even conjuring the figure 94 out of thin air. Unfortunately for the Arroyo regime, it has succeeded in fooling no one except for a foreign news agency that should have known better than to believe the spin of the fake president," Agcaoili said.
Only recently the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) declared the Macapagal-Arroyo regime guilty of human rights violations in the killing of human rights advocates Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy in 2003.
"As proven many times in its treatment of prisoners of war, the NPA strictly abides by the rules of war in the conduct of the armed conflict as provided for in the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL)," Agcaoili said. "The NPA respects civilians and civilian communities and does not engage in indiscriminate firing of guns or use of weapons of mass destruction in aerial and artillery bombardments like what the AFP does," he added.
"If the GRP has any accusations against the NPA, it should file these with the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC), the body mandated under the CARHRIHL to look into reports of alleged violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by the armed forces of the NDFP and the GRP," Agcaoili said.