Red Cross: Human as shield is crime against humanity-A A +A
Monday, September 9, 2013
WITH hostages reportedly being used as human shields, the Philippine Red Cross, on Monday, reminded alleged members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) that occupied several barangays in Zamboanga City that their actions could be tantamount to committing crimes against humanity.
In a statement, Red Cross reminded the MNLF of the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Republic Act 9851 or the "Act Defining the and Penalizing Crimes Against Humanity, International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and other crimes against Humanity, Jurisdiction, Designating Special Courts and for Related Purposes."
"We stand by the provisions of these laws that prohibits taking hostages as human shield, and intends to remind all actors of the conflict to respect the law of war or the International Humanitarian Law," said Red Cross.
The Red Cross said the Philippines has been a signatory to the Geneva treaty since 1986.
In a pre-dawn attack, some 100 armed followers of former MNLF chairman Nur Misuari attacked Zamboanga City and have taken at least 20 people as hostages and, allegedly, as human shields.
Some 300 people, on the other hand, have already been evacuated to safer areas after six were killed and 24 others being wounded.
And according to PRC secretary general Gwendolyn Pang, they have already sent 56 volunteers to assist the residents affected by the crisis in Zamboanga City.
"We are now assessing the condition in the evacuation centers. We are now checking the supply of food and water and other additional needs of the evacuees," Pang said.
For its part, the Department of Health (DOH) has already placed on alert hospitals in Zamboanga City and nearby areas in anticipation of a possible deluge of patients.
"As part of standard operating procedures, hospitals in the area are now on alert. They have to make sure that they have enough doctors and supplies in case of an influx," said Herbosa.
He noted that additional supplies and medical personnel from neighboring regions can also be tapped to augment in case there will be a shortage.
Herbosa also said several health personnel from the DOH – Health Emergency Management Staff (HEMS) have also been dispatched to the area to make sure that the medical needs will be attended to. (HDT/Sunnex)