Families of victims in Abra military operation bring case to Congress, ICRC

Press Statement – Families of victims in Abra military operation bring  case to Congress, ICRC

October 22, 2014

Families of victims of human rights violations in Lacub, Abra are
expected to arrive today in Manila to seek audience with representatives
of Congress, Senate, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
They are also set to file a case against the Government of the Republic
of the Philippines through the Joint Monitoring Committee of the GPH-NDF
for the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for
Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

The families would want to call attention to the war crimes committed
against the people of Lacub in general and in particular, the
extrajudicial killing of two civilians and the brutal killing, torture,
mutilation, and desecration of the remains of seven members of the New
People’s Army. Said violations happened during a military operation by
the AFP’s 41st Infantry Battalion in September 4-6 in Lacub, Abra.

The military operation resulted in the killing of Engr. Fidela Salvador,
a development worker from the Cordillera Disaster Response and
Development Services (CorDis-RDS) and Noel Viste, a resident of Lacub,
Abra who was among the 24 civilians who retrieved the bodies of the NPA
members and were used as human shield by the military.

Autopsy reports showed that Engr. Salvador had multiple lacerations and
massive hematoma over the back of the head and gunshot wounds all
entering her lower back and left and right buttocks exiting at the left
shoulder. NPA member Recca Noelle Monte did not die of gunshot wound,
for she had none, and “instead died of blunt traumatic injuries in the
head, face and chest.”

Other possible war crimes cited by the fact-finding and solidarity
missions held in September were:

– Killing wounded NPAs who probably have laid down their arms or no
longer have means of defense or have surrendered. This is a strong
probability in the case of Arnold Jaramillo. Jaramillo’s body wasriddled
with multiple gunshot wounds involving his back and lower extremities,
with one particular GSW fired close-range that the skin surrounding the
bullet’s point of entry had a burnt appearance.

– Not providing quarter – “No quarter will be given” means refusing to
spare the life of anybody, even of persons manifestly unable to defend
themselves or who clearly express their intention to surrender.” (R.A. 9851)

– Violations of indigenous peoples rights such as the AFP’s denial of
the Binongan people to conduct their ritual for the dead and the
violation of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) on military
detachments and
military activities.

The families of the victims’ schedule in Manila are as follows:

October 22
House of Representatives to meet with Congressmen/women, Makabayan bloc

October 23 10: 00 a.m. Department of National Defense, Gate 2, EDSA

Picket with Hustisya, Katribu-KAMPP, United Church of Christ in the
Philippines, Gabriela, and other multi-sectoral people’s organizations

October 24
GPH-NDFP Joint Monitoring Committee

Filing of case at the GPH Section of the GPH-NDFP Joint Monitoring
Committee for the Implementation of the CARHRIHL.