Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The 5th ID's hypocrisy on the respect for human rights-CPDF (NDF)

The 5th ID's hypocrisy on the respect for human rights

Simon "Ka Filiw" Naogsan
Cordillera Peoples' Democratic Front
October 4, 2010

The Cordillera People's Democratic Front strongly condemns the brutal murder last September 10, 2010 of Elmer Valdez, 33 years old, farmer and a resident of Barangay Conconig East, Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur by operating troops of the 5th ID. The soldiers accosted and seized Valdez while he was gathering bamboo and accused him of being an NPA guerilla. The victim's decomposing body was found last September 13 by a search team composed of the victim's family and barangay officials that was obstructed and harassed by the military.

Col. Essel Soriano, commanding officer of the 503rd Bde, said that AFP troops could not have killed Valdez because his body was discovered last September 13, three days after the troops took him. Col. Soriano's weak reasoning did not mention was that the victim's body was in an advanced state of decomposition when found. Other military officers including MGen. Rommel Gomez, commanding officer of the 5th ID tried to cover-up this heinous crime and hypocritically claimed that the AFP upholds the provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). There were about 500 troops from the 86th IB, 50th IB, and 77th IB conducting an operation in the area.

Meanwhile, as Gen. Gomez was lying to media, troops continued their rampage in the area by illegally searching at least three houses, and illegally arresting, detaining, and threatening four local farmers, including a 60-year old man.

Troops from the 86th IB, and those from the 54th IB, 50th IB, and the Division Recon Companies are now also rampaging in the hinterlands of the Mountain Province, the home province of MGen. Gomez. The heavy militarization of the Cordillera and the Ilocos provinces is part of the extended Oplan Bantay Laya and will surely lead to more murders of innocent civilians like Elmer Valdez, and more violations of human rights. No amount of lying and psywar on the part of the AFP can hide the increasing atrocities committed by its mercenary troops.

The victims of the crimes and human rights violations committed by the military will not be forgotten. Revolutionary justice will be rendered upon members of the fascist armed forces who have committed crimes against the people. The CPDF enjoins all families of victims of these atrocities and the national minorities in the Cordillera to persevere in revolutionary struggle, uphold their rights and frustrate the extension of Oplan Bantay Laya. The AFP and the PNP, as the armed component of the reactionary state, are intrinsically anti-people. Their main role is to protect the interests of the exploitative and oppressive ruling elite, and to suppress the people's struggle for justice. Any claims made by the AFP and PNP regarding the respect for human rights are nothing but hypocrisy.

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