AFP to sue rebels for using human shield

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Saturday, May 10, 2014


THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is determined to file charges against communist rebels who allegedly used 39 miners, including four children, as human shields against pursuing troops last week.

Army's 100st Brigade Commander Colonel Elmer Quiros said the AFP is set to file charges before the provincial prosecutor's office of Compostela Valley for using citizens as human shields against the government troops and violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) against the rebels belonging to the NPA Guerilla Front 2 and Pulang Bagani Command 6 this week.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Logico, commander of the Army's 66th Infantry Battalion, earlier said about 80 rebels prevented 39 miners, including four children, from leaving the mining site at Sitio Tabon in Barangay Panamin in Mabini town of Compostela Valley last Saturday, to stop the troops from capturing them.

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Logico said hostage-taking was confirmed at 10:17 a.m. when Barangay Mahayahay chief Juanito Torcende and his councilman Alejandro Hoylar went to their detachment and informed them on the matter.

He said the troops with the 71st Infantry Battalion were able to corner the rebels at Sitio Tabon in Panamin.

According to the civilians, they were made to sign a logbook and were disallowed to leave the village. They were even asked to carry things and assist the wounded NPA rebels when they were still held as hostages.

The 39 miners were already released last Sunday and Monday after Torcende negotiated with the communist rebels for the safe release of the miners.

But Daniel Ibarra, spokesperson for NPA's Comval-Davao Gulf Sub-regional Command, denied holding the 39 miners.

Ibarra said the NPA has not taken hostages as maliciously reported by the members of the AFP.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 11, 2014.

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