The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has accused Benigno Aquino III and his top military officials of committing war crimes during an encounter between government troops and NPA guerrillas in Tineg, Abra on October 10.
The CPP said soldiers of the 41st Infantry Battalion led by Cols. Eliseo Posadas and Noel Baluyan violated international humanitarian law and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) when they went ahead and slaughtered the NPA fighters who were overpowered and rendered incapable of fighting. They also peppered with bullets and hacked with machetes the bodies of the fallen NPA fighters.
“The images of the falled NPA fighters—the martyrs of Tineg throughly shatter the ‘peace’ and ‘human rights’ rhetoric of the Aquino regime and the AFP,” said the CPP.
The CPP added that contrary to the AFP’s claims that the soldiers brought the bodies of the dead NPA fighters to Bangued, they left them in the mountains exposed to the elements. It was only after mounting pressure from humanitarian and people’s organizations that local provincial officials helped retrieve the NPA casualties.
The CPP called on human rights advocates, lawyers’ organizations, religious groups, international humanitarian agencies and the Joint Monitoring Committee which oversees both the GPH and NDFP’s compliance with the CARHRIHL to conduct their own investigations into the October 10 Tineg incident. It urged pathologists and other experts to expose the facts behind the October 10 slaughter.
The CPP said revolutionary forces in the area are willing to cooperate with various groups to provide information and shed light about the incident.
The CPP further slammed the AFP’s Oplan Bayanihan for “clearly being no different from the Arroyo regime’s Oplan Bantay Laya in terms of brutality and cruelty.”
“In stark contrast, the NPA strictly abides by the provisions of the CARHRIHL and international protocols in carrying out people’s war against the ruling system,” pointed out the CPP. “NPA units closely follow humanitarian guidelines in the conduct of the war by treating the wounded and respecting the rights of prisoners of war. It has time and again shown itself to be a disciplined fighting force of the Filipino people.”
“On the other hand, the brutality and cruelty of the AFP expose the barbarism of the reactionary fascist troops who have been systematically robbed of their humanity in order to transform them into brutal killing machines whose only function is to unleash a criminal war and terrorize the people,” said the CPP.