By Joey Natividad
SORSOGON CITY, 7July2013 (BicolToday.com) – The top leadership of the rebel movement called on Saturday for international investigation on an alleged brutal massacre of unarmed rebels slain in Sorsogon Province, based on its initial findings that Army troopers killed 3 captured rebels who were unarmed and fleeing from the fight scene.
The 3 rebels were among the eight (8) killed in the firefight. They were Greg Bañares (Frankie Joe Soriano), Christine Puche (Ka Nel), and Ted Palacio (Ka Ted). They were killed Thursday (July 4) during an Army attack on their encampment in Calomayon village, Juban town.
Ka Greg Bañares had served as spokesperson of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in the Bicol Region. He was with other members of the Information Office of the NDFP-Bicol and a security detail of the New People’s Army (NPA).
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), in a statement posted Saturday in the website, said: “According to initial reports submitted by the NPA Sorsogon Provincial Command, local residents saw Ka Greg, Ka Nel and Ka Gary retreating from the site of the initial fighting. Despite being unarmed, they were seized and summarily-executed. They were shot in the face and their bodies riddled with bullets by the troops of the 31st Infantry
The alleged acts by government troops were in violation of internationally- accepted protocol on “not harming unarmed enemies, and those who are not capable of putting up a fight.”
Instead, the slain rebels should have been captured and treated as “prisoners-of-war”, said CPP in the statement.
“The CPP seeks an independent investigation of the July 4 Juban massacre. It calls on the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) tasked to oversee the implementation of the CARHRIHL to conduct a fact-finding effort in cases of violations of human rights and brutality. The CPP appeals to human rights groups, church groups, independent lawyers’ groups and pertinent agencies of the United Nations to undertake their own investigation into this massacre.”, said the CPP statement.
In the early 1990’s, NDFP and the government had forged an agreement, Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) which defines the conduct of armed engagements based on internationally-accepted protocols, and respect of human rights for civilians, and rendering humane treatment of captured and wounded enemies.
The agreement also mandated the creation of JMC to oversee the implementation of the agreement.
Ending the statement, the rebel organization considered their fallen comrades as “martyrs” and giving them words of respect.
The slain rebels were Frankie Joe Soriano (Ka Greg Bañares), Christine Puche (Ka Nel), Ted Palacio (Ka Gary), Pehing Hipa (Ka Miloy), David Llunar (Ka Rey), Romero Añonuevo (Ka Nene), William Villanueva, Jr (Ka Jay), and Ailyn Calma (Ka Kevin).
The CPP demands that the (government) troops and officers involved in the massacre be made to answer for violations of CARHRIHL and pertinent protocols of the Geneva Conventions. [BicolToday.com]