Thursday, November 8, 2012

Army reaffirms adherence to International Humanitarian Law

From the Website of Philippine Army

Army reaffirms adherence to International Humanitarian Law

FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – In a simultaneous flag raising ceremony in all military camps nationwide on Monday, August 13, Army personnel took an oath of reaffirmation to strictly adhere to International Humanitarian Law (IHL), an Army official said.

Major Harold M Cabunoc, the Army Spokesperson, said that the Philippine Army joins the whole nation, as well as the international community, in celebrating the IHL Day. Mr. Jean-Luc Metzker of the International Committee on Red Cross (ICRC) and Army Chief Lt Gen Emmanuel T Bautista graced the event.

IHL Day is observed to commemorate the signing of the 1949 Geneva Conventions which is considered the core of the International Humanitarian Law. It has been acceded by 194 States, the Philippines included.

The Philippine Army, for its part, continues to adopt measures in furtherance of its commitment to respect and uphold human rights at all times.

“Army Chief Lt Gen Emmanuel T Bautista has directed all commanders of the Army’s major units all throughout the archipelago to strictly observe human rights protection in the conduct of operations, be it combat, intelligence or civil military operations,” said Cabunoc.

In his statement, Bautista said that the celebration of IHL Day is a reaffirmation of the Philippine Army’s commitment and support for the International Humanitarian Law as it performs its role of protector of the people and the state.

“Let me remind all of you that while the use of force may be necessary to address armed threats to our nation’s peace and security, we have to bind ourselves to certain rules of conduct in adherence to international humanitarian law and human rights. And despite the fact that we are facing adversaries that abide by no rules, we must remain by the rule of law. That is what makes us different from those we fight,” said Bautista.

Human rights protection is an integral component of the IPSP Bayanihan. Bautista said that reaffirmation to the principles of human rights and international humanitarian law is a significant step towards winning peace based on the rights and dignity of every individual.
“As we renew and reaffirm our adherence to the International Humanitarian Law, I encourage every soldier to take this to heart and exert conscious effort to abide by its wisdom in all our undertakings. This will be key to winning the peace and achieving our vision to be a world-class army that is a source of national pride,” concluded Bautista.

Meanwhile, various activities are lined up for this year’s celebration which is led by the Department of National Defense (DND).

One of the highlights of the celebration is the Photo Exhibit at the Philippine Army Wellness Center (Army Gym) which will run from August 13 to 17.

On August 18, participants from other government agencies, non-government organizations, and people’s organizations are expected to join the IHL Advocacy Run. The run will be held at the Mc Kinley – Fort Bonifacio – Heritage Park area.

Also, a bloodletting activity to be facilitated by the Philippine National Red Cross will be conducted at the HPA Grandstand.

Philippine Army Website