Friday, August 17, 2012

Terrorizing and detaining civilian families of NPA Red Fighters are serious violations of the international rules of war

From the Website of PRWC - CPP/NPA/NDF

Terrorizing and detaining civilian families of NPA Red Fighters are serious violations of the international rules of war

Ka Efren
NDFP-FarSouth Mindanao Region
12 August 2012

On August 6, 2012, in Brgy Daligasaw, Santa Maria, Davao del Sur,  the 39th IB under the command of Lt. Col. Norman Zuniega arrested and forcibly detained Lindy Dawang, 21, a member of the Blaan tribe and the wife of a an NPA Red fighter. Lindy, who is six months pregnant  had no other recourse but to go with the 39th IB soldiers  who insisted she is an NPA surrenderee.  The 39th IB did not present any warrant of arrest. They brought her to the battalion headquarters in Sta Cruz, Davao del Sur and, according to the military’s press statement is “undergoing interrogation”.

Again the following day, on August 7,  in Brgy San Isidro, Sta Maria,  Davao del Sur, another Blaan native named Tayet “Aying” Magwan 27, was arrested by the 39th IB and also brought to the battalion headquarters with her two-year old child. Aying had just arrived from Malapatan, Sarangani Province, after having fled from the 73rd IB’s continuous harassment simply because she is known as the wife of an NPA guerilla. This time, she was taken without a warrant of arrest, brought to the military camp and held in captivity for three days. The indigenous communities fear that like Lindy,  she is also undergoing interrogation and possibly torture.

The NDF-FarSouth Mindanao Region condemns in the strongest possible terms these vicious, relentless attacks of the AFP on civilians, especially women and children. Lindy Dawan and Aying Magwan are innocent, are not members of the NPA and are ordinary citizens of the state, (in the same way that the families of AFP soldiers are). As such, they and their children must be accorded their rights as citizens, as human beings and as women and children.  The 39th IB  and the 73rd IB of the 10th Infantry Division have no legal and moral bases whatsoever to detain, interrogate and terrorize them just because they are the wives of NPA Red fighters. This is a serious violation of the rules of war as stipulated in the Geneva Conventions, the CARHR-IHL and the United Nations’ rights of children.

In its desperate effort to gather intelligence information and coerce the NPAs into giving up their cause, the 39th IB in Davao del Sur has resorted to pressuring and terrorizing the wives and children of NPA guerillas who are traumatized and suffer intense misery and pain.  If this is Oplan Bayanihan’s concept of “winning the people’s hearts and minds,” then the AFP is practically digging its own grave.  The AFP will never be able to win the war through coercion, psywar, and dirty tricks, especially on the women and children.

The NDF-FSMR demands that the 39th IB under Lt. Col. Norman Zuniega must be held accountable for this flagrant and continuing attack on the women and children.  The 39th IB must also pay for whatever damages incurred , including hospital and medical bills and other expenses as a result of the trauma inflicted.  Most of all, we demand that the 39th IB and its chain of command be meted the necessary disciplinary action as stipulated in the international rules of war of which the Philippine Government is a signatory.