Military welcomes CHR probe on Batangas clash

THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) welcomes the conduct of an investigation by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on the encounter between government troops and suspected New People’s Army (NPA) that resulted in the killing of at least 14 rebels in Batangas, a military official said Friday.

“We welcome the CHR’s move to investigate the said encounter. With all the killed wearing their bandoleers and holding their M16s, we are confident that all those who died in the encounter were NPAs,” said 2nd Infantry Batallion commander Major General Rhoderick Parayno.

“We could only hope that the investigation will show results that are true, fair and not biased,” he added.

On November 28, government troops clashed with suspected members of the NPA in Sitio Pinamintasan, Barangay Aga, and Sitio Batulao, Barangay Kaylaway Nasugbu Batangas. At least 14 suspected NPA rebels, including a student from the University of the Philippines, were killed.

The CHR said it is conducting an investigation into possible human rights violations during the encounter.

However, CHR spokesperson Jacqueline De Guia said their investigation is not only limited to the military personnel but also against the involved NPA rebels.

"Patas po naming tinitingnan kung yung rules of engagement ng military ay nasunod at gusto rin po naming i-highlight na hindi lang militar ang aming iniimbestigahan sa panahon ngayon pati po yung mga ambush ng NPA sa Mindanao for example kung saan may isang sanggol ang namatay," she said.

"So parehong partido po ang tinitingnan namin sa panahon ng armadong tunggalian na ito," De Guia added. (SunStar Philippines)
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