Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar has ordered policemen in Northern Samar to be on heightened alert against potential attacks by New People’s Army rebels after a series of clashes that left a soldier and a village official dead.
“These terrorists will not stop sowing chaos and violence in our communities in their desire to prove they are not yet a spent force,” Eleazar said.
“They are hiding the truth that they are already weak and irrelevant and they no longer have the support of the masses in their senseless armed struggle. It is infuriating that they are now targeting civilians in their attacks,” he added.
In Las Navas Municipality, Private First Class John Vincent Bocaboc was killed when his team clashed with at least ten NPA rebels in Barangay Victory on Friday.
A day after, Brgy. San Andres chairman Crispin Nali Mordido was shot dead by alleged rebels in neighboring Barangay Lourdes.
Last week, the Commission on Human Rights criticized the NPA for attacking government forces in Jipapad, Eastern Samar.
“We stress that even non-state actors are bound to comply with international humanitarian law (IHL), alongside the government. In this incident, the indiscriminate use of improvised explosive devices, including landmines, continues to fail in distinguishing between civilians and combatants and protect especially civilians and communities from the ill effects of armed conflict, which violates the spirit of IHL,” CHR deputy spokesperson Marc Louis Siapno said.
“In the larger view, we reiterate that no ideology can justify violations of human rights nor be used as a reason to excuse themselves from any accountability. We urge the government to pursue the perpetrators of this act in keeping with the rule of law. CHR, through its office in Region VIII, shall also be pursuing an independent probe on this case,” he added.