Saturday, August 15, 2015

AFP Statement On The Comments Of The UN Special Rapporteur On The Human Rights Of Internally Displaced Persons

From the Website of AFP
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AFP Statement On The Comments Of The UN Special Rapporteur On The Human Rights Of Internally Displaced Persons

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is constitutionally mandated to protect the people and the state, and to secure the sovereignty of the state and the integrity of the national territory. It is in fulfilment of this mandate that the AFP worked with other agencies of government to address the needs and concerns of the indigenous peoples currently quartered within the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Haran compound in Davao City. The AFP only has the welfare and the best interests of the IP communities at heart, and in this we find common ground with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Dr Chaloka Beyani.

The AFP has taken notice of the recent statements of Dr Beyani. The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, GENERAL HERNANDO DCA IRIBERRI AFP, has mentioned that the AFP has given attention to the issue.

We support the UN Special Rapporteur in his advocacy to look into the welfare of internally displaced persons, and we are happy to know that we find common ground with Dr Beyani regarding this matter. We enjoin everyone to look past this incident and work together with us and the government to resolve the situation; and return the IPs back to their homes. We must remember that there are innocent children, including the four (4) orphans of Lito Lundia, who are crying for justice for the deaths of their loved ones.

Let us be clear that the more than 700 IPs now living for months in squalid conditions within the UCCP Haran compound left their homes not because of alleged military abuses, but because of the entry and interference of armed lawless elements into their communities. Our presence in the IP communities is directly in response to these armed elements, as we cannot stand idly by as the IPs are exploited, radicalized, and recruited to fight against the government. We will do our best to secure their communities so that they can return home with guarantees of safety, dignity and protection, as is their wish and our intent.

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