In accordance with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Executive Order 70, Regional State Prosecutor Atty Merlyn Uy, Provincial Prosecutor of Province of Bukidnon Atty Rommel L Alonto, and 403rd Brigade Commander colonel Ferdinand T Barandon files multiple cases of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) violations against CPP-NPA leaders for the disruption of peace, abduction, attack and damage to civilian properties on varying occasions in Bukidnon at the Hall of Justice, Cagayan de Oro City.
“We went to the Regional Prosecutor in Cagayan de Oro city to file three cases, for violation of RA 9851, violation of IHL. This is not an ordinary crime. This is a crime under a special law, it is a law that protects civilians when attacked during an armed conflict,” Atty Rommel Alonto, Provincial prosecutor Bukidnon.
“The IHL emphasizes the protection of civilians in armed conflict or between forces in conflict should not in any way harm civilians who are not in any way connected to the armed conflict,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Regional State Prosecutor Atty Merlyn Uy shared the importance of accountability of NPAs in their violations.
“My marching orders to the prosecutors in the region is to file as many cases as there are violations, for example, kaning namatay, there is also a murder case filed against the assailants as well as the IHL, we are putting emphasis in the IHL cases because this is also sending out a message to the NPA that the actions of their members does not only result to a personal accountability on that particular accuse but it also reflects in their group,” Regional State Prosecutor Atty Merlyn Uy said.
Attorney Uy emphasized that despite the international armed conflict between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the government versus the New People’s Army (NPA), they should not target innocent civilians in any way.
Accompanied by the 403rd Brigade, the armed forces of the Philippines supported the peaceful campaign to bring justice to innocent civilians affected by the terrorist group, aside from providing protection to witnesses or vulnerable individuals involved, they also provide resources and manpower in cooperation with the Philippine National Police (PNP-10) in the investigation and apprehension of assailants.
“Ang role po dito ng armed forces specially the 403rd brigade is to assist the Legal Cluster of the provincial Task Force of Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict, remember na yung president natin nagpasa siya ng executive order 70 nung 2018 and ang naka lagay doon ay we should end local communist armed conflict using a whole-of-nation approach,” 403rd Brigade Commander COL Ferdinand T Barandon shared.
With the long arm of the law, the Legal Cluster of the Regional Task Force for Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict in the Northern Mindanao strives to bring justice and protect innocent civilians from the scourge of the NPA terrorist group.