By RUBI DEL MUNDO
Spokesperson, NDFP-Southern Mindanao
Legal and judicial processes of the People’s Democratic Government are applicable to Aquino’s town mayor
When the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) brands as “criminal” the humanitarian act of the New People’s Army, according the prisoner of war status to four of its armed personnel and the application of revolutionary legal and judicial processes to Lingig Mayor Henry Dano, it shows that it is stuck in a sordid state of denial of the reality of a raging civil war between two governments in the country.
By alleging that the revolutionary forces have no right to undertake these humanitarian and legal acts, the GPH ignores and deceitfully forgets the following facts:
The 1996 NDFP Unilateral Declaration to Apply the Geneva Conventions and Protocol I
That the 1998 GRP-NDFP CARHRIHL (The Comprehensive Agreement for the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law signed by the government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines):
affirms that the principles of human rights and the principles of international humanitarian law are universally-acceptable;
acknowledges that the prolonged armed conflict in the country necessitates the application of the principles of HR and IHL
realizes the necessity and significance of assuming separate duties and responsibilities for upholding, protecting and promoting the principles of human rights and IHL
that in the course of this civil war, two governments –- one being the Manila-centered reactionary government of the ruling class of big compradors and landlords, and the other revolutionary government of the oppressed and exploited peoples based in the countryside — exist in the country
that the legal and judicial system and processes of the people’s democratic government which exist, continuously develop and in force in its guerilla territories in the country has had administered the dispensation of revolutionary justice over the last four decades
that the 1992 The Hague Declaration that laid the framework of the current GPH-NDFP peace negotiations does not give any right to the GPH to presume, much less demand from the NDFP, that the revolutionary forces and its people recognize, work under and lay prostrate before the GPH’s political authority, constitution, legal system and judicial processes.
It is futile for the GPH to expect that on the basis of its myopic insistence of the supposed “non-belligerent” status of the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and the NDFP (CPP-NPA-NDFP), the people’s army would default on its revolutionary duty to undertake humanitarian acts in accordance with IHL, and the NPA policy of humane and lenient treatment of its prisoners of war (POWs). Nor would the People’s Court turn a blind eye on the cases filed before it, more so when it involves the people’s rights, security and welfare. It is not up to the GPH to determine the belligerency status of the CPP-NPA-NDFP; the revolutionary resistance and achievements of the masses speak for itself.
It is for the benefit of the four personnel of the Philippine National Police and Bureau of Jail and Penology (PNP/BJMP) and the two intelligence operatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) masquerading as Mayor Dano’s security escorts that they are being held consistent with the NPA’s policy of humane and lenient treatment of its captives and in accordance with Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions. It is also for the benefit of Mayor Dano and the complainants that the legal and judicial processes of the people’s democratic government are applied to them.
Unlike the NPAs taken by the mercenary AFP who are either tortured, killed, declared missing, were unjustly charged in the reactionary courts and left to languish in various jails, the four armed PNP/BJMP personnel are held under protective status, Mayor Dano legal rights as befitting suspects charged in the People’s Court and the two military intelligence operatives legally processed in accord with pertinent provisions of Protocol I relating to acts of espionage. In contrast, it is the GPH which acts criminally and unjustly against abducted innocent civilians, noncombatants and NPA hors d’ combat.
Contrary to the GPH peace panel’s twisted pronouncement, the People’s Court — by which the Lingig mayor is under auspices of — is a revolutionary judicial tribunal that upholds the basic principles of due process and other legal standards in its rules and procedures. Thus Mayor Dano’s fundamental rights as a suspect are guaranteed. It is malicious and baseless for the GPH to say otherwise.
Essentially, the GPH authorities — the GPH principal Benigno Aquino III, the AFP-PNP and GPH peace panel — are acting contrary to the interest of the seven GPH personnel when they dispute the protective status and ongoing legal-judicial processes and intensify its military and police operations. The GPH ignores the logical path of negotiation, dismisses the rights of those in NPA custody, and sets up stumbling blocks to the speedy resolution of these cases.
Instead of issuing hypocritical pronouncements and self-serving demands, the GPH peace panel should avail of the various methods of negotiation and stop the empty, uninformed and irresponsible pronouncements.