Blood debts-A A +A
Monday, February 4, 2013
BAYAN Negros secretary-general Christian Tuayon said that the La Castellana ambush is "a violation of the international human rights law on rules of engagement in a war that requires that civilians or non-combatants should be spared."
Of course, Tuayon qualified in his press statement that there was no validation back then that the ambushers was the NPA. Now he knows. What is his stand now that everyone knows it wasn't the butler but the NPA who did it?
If anything, Tuayon and Ka JB Regalado, spokesperson of the Leonardo Panaligan Command of the NPA, agreed that the NPA's Puso killings was a violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws.
What about Karapatan-Negros's Fred Caña? He's supposed to be a human rights monitor. I won't prejudge anything but I'll be holding my breath as to how he'll describe the massacre.
The funny thing is that Regalado described the killings as a "mistake" and not a massacre. According to the Free Online Dictionary, however, a massacre means "the act or an instance of killing a large number of humans indiscriminately and cruelly." Nine people dead, and many more wounded was not a massacre?
Regalado cited Article 4 of the CARHRIHL that states that "All necessary measures shall be undertaken to remove the conditions for violations and abuses of human rights and to render justice to and indemnify the victims."
Remove the conditions for violations of human rights? But this wasn't the first time the NPA committed the "mistake." In 2009, the NPA ambushed a group of civilians in Barangay Salamanca, Toboso and killed three civilians, including a minor, and wounded three others. The six victims included two high school students, were on board an Isuzu Elf Canter.
Why these people would assume that a civilian truck is fair game to a killing spree is really beyond me. According to International Humanitarian Law, civilians are protected persons. And why was the killing a "mistake" and not a criminal act?
"The victims or their survivors shall be indemnified," vowed Regalado. But who determines indemnification? It cannot be on the basis of what the aggressor party says but on what the victims demand. I should know. I handled many cases of reckless imprudence leading to homicide in court-annexed mediation.
Regalado insisted that "The persons liable for violations and abuses of human rights shall be subject to investigation and, if evidence warrants, to prosecution and trial.
So tell us, the public or the masa, what happened to the perpetrator of the Salamanca massacre? How were they meted justice when the LPC committed blood debts against supposedly protected civilians? Did the NPA impose the maximum penalty-a death sentence?
To this, Maj. General José Mabanta, 3rd Infantry Division commander, said "We don't want to go back to the barbaric era, and while the NPA took responsibility for the killing, they should bring those culprits from within their ranks to the courts of law."
I agree with Mabanta if only because I oppose the death penalty. Under the NPA's so-called "justice system," blood debts are repaid in blood. At least, with society's justice system, of which I'm part, the most that the accused killers would get is life. That's a better deal for all parties concerned.
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Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 04, 2013.