Rights group hits killings of activists, farmers
MANILA, Philippines — The Karapatan rights group on Sunday called out the 15th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) for a string of killings of peace consultants, activists, and farmers wrongly accused of being communist guerillas in the Visayas.
In a statement, Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said these killings constituted continuing violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) by state agents against civilians and hors de combat (out of combat).
The IHL prohibits the killing or harming of both civilians and combatants who have been rendered hors de combat because they have been captured, wounded or surrendered, or otherwise incapable of participating in hostilities due to illness or some other disability.
“We demand a stop to these incessant violations of International Humanitarian Law and call on the Commission on Human Rights to conduct a thoroughgoing investigation of both the grave breaches of IHL,” she said.
Palabay’s statement followed reports that three civilians were brutally killed by troops of the 15th IBPA in Sipalay City and Cauayan since April 23., Both areas are alleged to be communist hot spots.