Army to probe 3 soldiers accused of raping Manobo girl
THE Philippine Army will investigate complaints of human rights violations against soldiers in Davao del Norte.
“We are now conducting a special investigation on the three Army soldiers involved in the alleged sexual offense on a Lumad minor in Talaingod, Davao del Norte,” said Lt. Col. Alfredo Patarata, acting chief of the Army Human Rights Office (AHRO) on Wednesday.
The soldiers’ identities were withheld as part of the due process. They were accused of raping a 14-year-old Manobo girl in Talaingod town.
The three soldiers were supposedly involved in clearing lumad communities of communist rebels which led to the evacuation of indigenous people in Davao del Norte and Bukidnon.
“The Philippine Army will not tolerate its erring personnel, especially those who will violate the human rights regardless of rank and position,” Patarata said.
Based on the AHRO, the Army has recorded a total of 24 alleged human rights cases against them.
Only two of the 24 cases have reached the next level of legal proceedings.
The two soldiers involved in these two cases are prosecuted for violating the Army’s Rules of Engagement in the conduct of their operations.
“Even it is still an allegation, we take it seriously,” said Patarata. “Our adherence to human rights, international humanitarian law, and the rule of law is an imperative to the success of our current campaign – the Internal Peace and Security Operation Bayanihan.”
In 2014, the Army received two alleged human rights violation complaints but did not prosper due to lack of evidence.
The AHRO was organized in 2010 to monitor human rights and international law violations of Army personnel. Frances Mangosing/AC
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