Murder charges and violations of International Human Rights Laws (IHL) awaits Jose Maria Sison anew and other Communists Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) leaders in light of the brutal killing of two minors and the serious wounding of two other civilians by NPA fighters in Northern Samar on February 8.
At the weekly virtual forum of the National Task Force to End Local Communists Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Brigadier Gen Joel Nacnac, Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)’s Center for Law of Armed Conflict said Sison along with top officials of the Communist
Terrorist Groups (CTGs) are liable as principals over the IHL principle of command responsibility being members of the hierarchy of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
The CTG leaders are also liable under the Republic Act (RA) 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, aside from the murder charges for the death of two minors, a 12-year-old boy who died on the spot and another 13-year-old boy while being treated at the hospital.
Nacnac added frustrated murder and attempted murder could also be slapped against the CTG hierarchy over the victims who survived the NPA attacks.
Col. Perfecto Peñaredondo, 803rd Brigade Commander, on the other hand, narrated that the incident happened when Army troopers were sent in the outskirt of Barangay Roxas in Catubig, Northern Samar in the afternoon of February 8, 2022, to check on a reported extortion activities of CTGs in the area.
While on their way, the soldiers chanced upon a group of young boys about to gather some copra products and told them to stay behind the army formation. But while walking just several meters towards their destination, the troops were ambushed by the NPAs, Peñaredondo said.
An exchange of gunfire ensued and the group of young boys scampered to their safety, but they were eventually targeted and shot at by the
CTGs who wanted to create a diversion to escape the encounter, he pointed out.
Peñaredondo added that despite the visible presence of civilians, the communist NPA terrorists indiscriminately fired their weapons that resulted in the death of two innocent minors later identified as Andre Mercado, 12, and Leandro Alivio, 13.
Nacnac said that the NPA terrorists clearly violated RA 9851 and the IHL principles in launching an attack that caused incidental loss of civilians. “It is not only violations of our common laws on murder and homicide but the IHL and human rights laws,” Nacnac explained.
He added that the leaders of the CPP-NPA-NDF will be “equally accountable” over the deaths of the civilians during the incidents.