Friday, July 12, 2013

AFP Sustains Operations Against NPAs, Records of Alleged HR Violations Decline

AFP Sustains Operations Against NPAs, Records of Alleged HR Violations Decline

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Published on Thursday, 11 July 2013 15:13
Written by PAO-AFP
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Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City—Despite the pronouncements of increased atrocities from the communist rebels, the Armed Forces of the Philippines sustained its momentum on focused military operations against the New People’s Army in the first semester of 2013.

The AFP’s gains for the first semester was released in a briefing today, July 11, attended by the AFP’s Chief of Staff, Area Commanders, and other senior officers at the AFP Commissioned Officers’ Clubhouse. The AFP-initiated engagements from January to June this year increased by 38 at 350 compared to the 312 recorded from the same period last year. From this figure, the Eastern Mindanao Command recorded the most engagements with 252 as compared to 207 from last year’s first semester.

These figures are considerably higher than the NPA-initiated violent incidents recorded at 173 from January to June this year, although they have conducted 11 incidents higher than from the same period last year.

The number of apprehended NPAs is also significantly higher this year at 99, as compared to 50 from the first semester of last year.

Records of Alleged HR Violations Decline

Meanwhile, the AFP’s alleged mission-related human rights violations (HRVs) have declined since the implementation of IPSP Bayanihan in 2010. In the first semester of 2013, the AFP posted seven alleged HRVs, an optimistic figure compared to 22 of 2012; 37 of 2011; and 51 of 2010.

There are a total of 164 HRV cases since 2010 including cases that are personal in nature. Out of these, 47 were resolved and were submitted for listing in the Commission on Human Rights, while 117 are pending resolution or for further investigation.

Recent developments in the national effort to address human rights violations in the country also prove that the government is serious in stopping abuses. Just last April, the Interagency Committee headed by the Department of Justice signed and approved its operational guidelines. At the same time, the Technical Working Group also compiled the 101 priority human rights cases that are under investigation or are on trial.

The AFP Human Rights Office’ efforts in inculcating the principles of Human Rights, International Humanitarian Laws, and the Rule of Law among soldiers are also on-going through various trainings, workshops, advocacy campaigns, and information dissemination held at all levels of the military organization.

The AFP is expected to maintain its control on the momentum of internal security operations in 2013 through human rights-based focused military operations targeting the NPAs. The AFP will continue to implement a multi-faceted approach to address the root causes of insurgency in support to the agenda of the government for national development.

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