Commies Admit Holding Soldier, 2 Others As POWs In South RP

October 15, 2007 at 9:19 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 15, 2007) – Communist rebels on Monday said they are holding a government soldier and two others as prisoners of war and would be tried for crimes committed against civilians, a spokesman said.

Aris Francisco, of the New People’s Army Alejandro Command in Southern Mindanao, said the trio – Sgt. Raul Reyes, of the Philippine Army and militiamen Glorieto Mahumas and Ruddy Villaflor, also a village chieftain – are being investigated for war crimes and human rights violations in Compostela Valley province.

The three men were seized October 7 after NPA forces raided a government post in Montevista town. The rebels carted 16 assorted automatic weapons, the NPA spokesman said.

“Army detachment commander Sgt. Reyes and paramilitary members Mahumas and Villaflor are being held as prisoners of war. As part of the Philippine government’s war machinery, they are facing preliminary investigations for the complaints filed against them that may constitute war crimes and violations against International Humanitarian Law and against civilians in Montevista, Compostela Valley Province.”

“Paramilitary Mahumas and Villaflor who double as local barangay (village) officials had been thoroughly active in local paramilitary recruitment, and had been instrumental in putting up military detachments in the Montevista villages. The Philippine military units deployed in the area, the 72nd and the 60th IB-AFP had been notorious in committing grave human rights abuses and violations,” Francisco said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.

He said the three men are being treated well by their guards in accordance to their status as a prisoner of war.

“The NPA’s track record in handling prisoners of war is proven just and humane contrary to the mercenary AFP that subjects their captives to physical and mental torture, intimidation, punishment, sexual abuse, inhumane treatment and murder,” he said.

“The NPA accords Mahumas, Reyes and Villaflor their rights to humane treatment and due process while in detention. This is in accordance to their status as a Prisoner of War under the war protocols, the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAR-HR-IHL), and the 1996 NDFP Unilateral Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and Protocol 1 of 1977,” he said.

The rebels are fighting the democratic Filipino government for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)

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