CHR calls out NPA; condemns killing of cop during attack in Sorsogon
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has called out the communist New People’s Army (NPA) again, after its recent attack in Pilar town in Sorsogon that led to the death of a police officer.
In a statement on Thursday, lawyer and CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said that the CHR “strongly denounces” the NPA attack on the 504th Police Maneuver Company on February 28.
The attack led to the death of Police Cpl. Ryan Atos, according to Police Regional Office 5 (PRO-5) spokesperson Maj. Maria Luisa Calubaquib.
According to the CHR, a team has been sent to investigate the incident as such attacks that go against a person’s right to life cannot be justified by any ideology.
“Atrocious attacks that deliberately violate the right to life cannot be justified under any ideology nor circumstance. Non-state agents are equally accountable with respect to human rights standards and the international humanitarian law,” de Guia said.
“CHR Region V is conducting an independent probe to aid in attaining justice for the fallen cop. We convey our sincerest condolence to the bereaved family, friends, and colleagues of the victim,” she added.
De Guia said that concerned agencies should work toward avoiding more armed skirmishes in the region, to ensure the safety of everyone despite disagreements on policies and principles.
“It is equally crucial that all concerned agencies work together in ensuring accountability and in preventing heightened hostilities in the area,” de Guia said.
“CHR continues to underscore the importance of approaching long-standing issues through non-violent and lawful ways for genuine rebuilding and reforms to take place, which will truly benefit the communities on the ground,” she noted.
INQUIRER.net has sought the side of the Communist Party of the Philippines to react on CHR’s statement, but their representatives have not replied as of posting time.
This is not the first time that CHR has called the attention of the NPA after an attack: last March 2021, after five police officers were killed in an attack on a police unit at Labo, Camarines Norte, CHR told NPA that no amount of ideology can justify the killings.
The same reminder was reiterated when an NPA-planted anti-personnel landmine exploded in Masbate last June 2021, claiming the life of collegiate footballer Kieth Absalon and his cousin.
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