Tactical Offensive vs. PNP personnel a legitimate NPA military operation;
PO3 Salva's hostile reaction to 'agaw-armas' led to his killing*
Rafael de la Cruz
Wilfredo Zapanta Command,
Front 18 Operations Command,
23 June 2011
The New People's Army disarming operation carried out by operatives of the Wilfredo Zapanta Command-Front 18 Operations Command-NPA against a Philippine National Police personnel manning a police outpost at the Mati Bus Terminal in Davao Oriental, June 7, was a legitimate military action. As an armed combatant of the PNP, PO3 Alfredo Salva was a legitimate military target.
Based on the 1996 NDFP Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol I of 1977, the following are regarded as legitimate targets of military action by the NPA: the units, personnel and facilities of (a) the Armed Forces of the Philippines; (b) the Philippine National Police; (c) the paramilitary forces and; (d) their intelligence personnel. PO3 Salva, armed and a regular of the PNP, is clearly a legitimate military target.
In seizing arms from enemy forces, the NPA adheres to its standard operational procedure of employing reasonable force. It has shown in so many instances in the past that in the conduct of its tactical offensives, it does not use undue and excessive force in accomplishing military objectives as stipulated in its operational rules and the international war protocols. Had PO3 Salva yielded without a fight, he would have been left unharmed. But he reacted with hostility, gave battle and even fired the first volley against the Red fighters resulting to the killing of one comrade and the wounding of another. Even if the sole military objective was to confiscate his firearm, the ensuing tactical situation called for an appropriate combat response which led to his death and the seizure of his M16 armalite rifle.