Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said on Monday (November 15th) that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) requested a review of more than 1,500 incidents of violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) committed by communist terrorist groups.
Guevarra said the incidents are currently being reviewed by the Interagency Administrative Order 35 (AO35) Committee on Extrajudicial Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Serious Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security people.
“These cases have just been confirmed by AFP before the AO 35 committee,” said Guevarra, who is the chairman of the committee.
He said the committee would provide more details on these cases soon, including the dates they occurred.
IHL applies to armed conflict. It is “a set of rules which seek, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflicts”. It also “protects people who are not or no longer taking part in hostilities and restricts the means and methods of warfare”.
Over the weekend, the AO35 secretariat posted on its official Facebook page that a technical working group “is currently examining more than 1,500 incidents of probable IHL violations allegedly committed by communist terrorist groups” .
His message also stated: “The review is being carried out initially in the regions of Visayas and Bicol, where numerous violations have been committed. “
The other members of the committee are the President of the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRCP), the Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Communities (DILG), the Secretary of the Ministry of National Defense (DND) and the Presidential Adviser for Business Policy (PAPA).
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