Stop the military operations in Lacub, Abra!

Joint Statement of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) and the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA)

7 September 2014

The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) and the Cordillera Human Rights
Alliance (CHRA) call on all units under the 5th and 7th Infantry
Divisions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to stop its
ongoing military operations and terrorism in Lacub, Abra province, for
the safety of the communities and to give way to for the communities to
attend to their livelihood. We urgently call on government officials and
local government units in Abra province, including the Church, and to
all who believe in life, to call on the AFP to stop its military
operations in Lacub.

The Philippines is a signatory to the International Humanitarian Law
(IHL) enshrined in the Geneva Convention and the Comprehensive Agreement
on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), among
others, and the AFP must adhere to these. As the operations continue,
even civilians are now among the victms of the military. In fact, a
civilian was killed by the AFP when he tried to retrieve the dead. These
are grave violations to the IHL.

Aside from the lives of the civilian population, the operation also
greatly impacts on the local peace and security situation. In this state
of terror and fear because resulting from the military operation,
residents cannot attend to their agricultural activities. It is greatly
feared that this continuing operation will result to food insecurity,
hunger, forcible migration, among others.

We reiterate our call for the immediate resumption of the formal peace
talks between the Government of the Philippines and the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The pressing poverty, hunger
and state of human rights are more than compelling grounds to resume the
formal peace talks. We strongly urge the Philippine government fulfill
and respect its obligations as part of confidence building measures to
the Peace Talks. We challenge public officials in the Cordillera region
and the rest of the country to take up this call in the spirit of
pursuing just and lasting peace in the Cordillera and the rest of the
Philippines and we appeal to all advocates of peace and human rights to
support this call. ***


AB Anongos, Secretary General, CPA
Audrey Beltran, Deputy Secretary General, CHRA