NDFP proposes joint probe on extrajudicial killings

NDFP International Information Office

[Utrecht – 18 September]  The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) today announced a proposal to include cases of extra-judicial killings in a joint investigation to be conducted with representatives of the NDFP, Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), the Norwegian government and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The cases of extra-judicial killings, according to the proposal, would be included with the cases of abductions and enforced disappearances of unarmed activists and suspected revolutionaries which the NDFP has earlier proposed to be jointly investigated.

NDFP International Information Office

[Utrecht – 18 September]  The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) today announced a proposal to include cases of extra-judicial killings in a joint investigation to be conducted with representatives of the NDFP, Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), the Norwegian government and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The cases of extra-judicial killings, according to the proposal, would be included with the cases of abductions and enforced disappearances of unarmed activists and suspected revolutionaries which the NDFP has earlier proposed to be jointly investigated.

The proposal was contained in a letter from Fidel V. Agcaoili, Chairperson of the NDFP Monitoring Committee, addressed to Sedfrey Candelaria, Chairperson of the GRP Monitoring Committee. In the letter, Agcaoili reiterated the NDFP’s proposal to form “an ad-hoc joint investigating committee … that will conduct fact-finding investigations into cases of abductions and enforced disappearances”. He also reiterated that the joint committee be composed of nominated representatives from both sides and a representative each from the Royal Norwegian Government and the ICRC.

Cabinet officials and top military and police officials of the GRP have claimed that a number of extra-judicial killings were a result of “purges” within the revolutionary movement itself. Agcaoili proposed that the joint investigating committee also look into these cases. Among the ten victims of extra-judicial killings he cited were Atty. Felidito Dacut, who was gunned down on 14 March 2005; Reverend Edison Lapuz, killed on 12 May 2005; NDFP Consultant Sotero Llamas, killed on 29 May 2006; Paquito Diaz, killed on 6 July 2006; and Victor Olayvar, killed on 7 September 2006.

Escalating incidents of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in the country had been the subject of condemnation by local as well as international human rights groups, including Amnesty International, Asian Human Rights Council, the World Council of Churches, and the Fact-Finding Mission of Dutch and Belgian judges and lawyers. To date however, the GRP has yet to prosecute a single culprit or mastermind behind the dastardly murders.

Agcaoili in his letter sounded a call for the immediate operationalization of the joint investigation body. Candelaria has yet to reply to the NDFP proposal. [NDFP – IIO]

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