Camp Panacan, Davao City- The statement made (on Sunday, September 20, 2009 thru an emailed statement and published by Sun Star Davao on September 21, 2009 ) by Rubi Del Mundo, the spokesperson of the National Democratic Front-Southern Mindanao, that more human rights violations will be committed by the military is a pure lie and tainted with deceit and pretense. The claim was made to discredit the successes the military, as a whole, had against the local terrorists in the Davao Region. They are using the recent designation of Col. Eduardo Del Rosario as Commander of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade to malign his person and leadership in view of Col Del Rosario’s successes in addressing the threats of terrorism exuded by the armed group from the NPA during his past stints as Commander of Task Force Davao and Commander of 73rd Infantry Battalion a few years back.
These terrorists fear, more than anything else, their nefarious activities, such as extortion activities, murder, grave threats against innocent civilians and other forms of crimes against public order, will be exposed before the public, curtailed if not stopped drastically, and the perpetrators of these heinous acts be put before the bar of justice. These violent acts, for all intents and purposes, are actually the violations of human rights and they themselves are the violators. The public, therefore, should be warned against the CPP/NPA/NDF so that they will not be victims of these treacherous acts and, thus, must be vigilant in order not to fall prey to their deception.
The killings perpetrated by them against innocent civilians and soldiers, they claim to a be sentence handed down by their “kangaroo court”, is merciless in nature and the alleged “conviction” is just an excuse for them to do it. In actuality, there is no legal or judicial basis for these and these are the clear violations of human rights.
Hence, what they are saying about the military, in general, and the 1003rd Infantry Brigade, in particular, is just but a façade of what the NPA are a doing. What they are afraid of is their illegal acts will be uncovered and put out in the open for the people of Davao to know. As this truth is revealed, they fear that the support or influence they have over the masses are lessened. As they thrive in areas where the local populace is supportive of them, either because they under duress or have been fooled of a false cause they are alleging, they may loose this influence and therefore be susceptible to arrest or capture. We cannot be-fault these people because they were deceived into believing that the armed group is fighting for the cause. In truth, their actions are all for their personal gain and benefit.
We have heard also of the many atrocities they have committed, such as, grave threats against those who do not want to cooperate with them; arson or bombing of cell sites, construction equipment and many more against those who do not pay them extorted money; kidnapping of civilians for the payment of ransom; and even robbery of personal belongings for their own personal use, are the violations of human right.
On the other hand, they fear also that many among their regular cadres may lay down their arms, return to mainstream society, and avail of the livelihood package the government is offering thru the Social Integration Program or SIP. The social interventions are so lucrative in view of the many opportunities it offers notwithstanding the chance for them to live a normal life with their respective families and a chance for them to productive in the community they choose to live.
The allegations of Del Mundo against Col. Del Rosario, with regard to the alleged “divide-and-rule tactics”, atrocities of a military-backed “Alamara”, coddling of a criminal, and human rights violations, are products of his imagination and are all baseless. He is making these false allegations to slander Col. Del Rosario so that his concept of operations against the terrorists will be hindered or hampered. They simply afraid that the Brigade’s ISO efforts will doubly gain ground and be a success in attaining an insurgency-free Davao Region in the near future. These will definitely hurt their illegal activities for personal gain and benefit.
Upon the assumption of command by Col. Del Rosario, he immediately pronounced the focus of the current Internal Security Operations. These are:
1) Peace and development efforts, thru the Brigade’s Civil-Military Operations, must be enhanced in order to win the hearts and minds, and confidence of the people towards government.
2) All units under the operational control of the Brigade must partner themselves with all sectors and stakeholders to be able to attain a confluence of efforts to address the threats posed by the terrorists/armed groups and, in so doing, also address the roots causes of insurgency.
3) Combat operations must be directly against the armed groups and such operations must strictly be in accordance with existing rules of engagement, policies and regulations, and with utmost regard for the respect of human rights, most especially women and children and non-combatants, and properties. Each soldier, from him and all the officers up to most junior enlisted personnel of the command, must commit himself/herself to the strict adherence to protect the people and respect their rights regardless of one’s political belief, religion, gender, age, culture, social status, and ethnic group. The concept of “Command Responsibility” shall be exercised at all levels of command. There shall be no compromise against those who violate such as all violators, if any, will be charged before a military and/or civilian court.
4) All members of the armed group/NPA, who surrender, are captured or arrested, are wounded, or are killed during operations, must be treated humanely and accorded their rights. Legal assistance will provided of them at all times.
5) Cultural traditions and customs of all peoples, IPs, Lumads, Muslims and all others alike, must be clearly understood by the troops to avoid differences and thereby avert conflicts.
Division Public Affairs Officer
Contact Number: (082) 302-2061
E-mail Add: firstname.lastname@example.org
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