Despite the widely reported capture, torture and cold-blooded execution of four police officers by Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) terrorists in Ayungon town, Negros Oriental on July 18, 2019, why the deafening silence from two militant groups, Karapatan and the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), whose alleged mission in Philippine society is to protect human rights?
This question was raised by Major General Antonio Parlade, Jr., of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and currently the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations (J7).
“After the torture and brutal killing of four hapless cops in Ayungon, Negros Oriental by CPP-NPA a few days ago, we have not heard anything from Karapatan, the self-proclaimed human rights defenders who have been harping on a call for UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) to probe alleged EJK in the Philippines,” Parlade said in a statement sent to the Philippine News Agency Monday.
Parlade was referring to the Iceland-initiated resolution that was adopted with 18 votes in favor, 14 against, and 15 abstentions by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on July 11, 2018.
The resolution expressed concern over reported cases of extrajudicial killings in line with the illegal drugs campaign but also raised the issue of reported violations targeting critics and human rights defenders.
“In this instance, nothing is alleged as clearly the perpetrators are local NPAs in Negros (Oriental). Why can’t Cristina Palabay and her Karapatan not raise a howl before the UN? You profess to fight for the rights of individuals whose right to life have been brutally violated, yet you choose to be silent in this case?” Parlade said.
Parlade maintained his earlier claims that Karapatan’s human rights advocacy is not genuine.
“Like we averred before, your advocacy is fake and selective. You need to justify the funds you have been scamming the European organizations, and now is the time to prove ‘Joma’ (CPP founding chair Jose Maria Sison) wrong for red-tagging your organization,” he added.
He also scored the NUPL for its continued silence on the issue and yet are self-righteous in their claims of defending those are aggrieved.
“How can you let this gruesome incident pass in silence? Carlos Conde of Human Rights Watch has already condemned the summary execution as a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law. Who else can provide the right legal perspective of this barbarism of the NPAs but the distinguished lawyers amongst your rank,” Parlade added.
This is the proper time for the lawyer group to denounce the CPP-NPA terrorists for its latest brutal act if only to prove that they are not allied with the communists.
“It’s time you come clean of your bias. If you say you are not what we say you are, communist thugs that is, denounce the CPP-NPA now,” he dared the two groups.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (Priam Nepomuceno, PNA)