MANILA— Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla, on Monday called the recent unprovoked attacks by the New People’s Army (NPA) as a demonstration of lack of regard to human life and the group’s continued down swing on crime.
Padilla was referring to the NPA ambush in Bukidnon last November 9 that killed a four-month-old baby girl, identified as Machorao Malysha, of Kili-Kili, Wao town in Lanao del Sur, and a policeman identified as Senior Police Officer 3 (SPO3) Arnel Carillo.
The infant was on board a sports utility vehicle with seven of her kin when hit by stray bullets. Their family was following a police vehicle when ambushed by members of the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
“There are criminal acts. Most of their activities have in fact increasingly affected innocent civilians and law abiding citizens,” said Padilla.
Instances like this only strengthens President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncements that the NPA should be declared as a terror organization, Padilla stressed.
“It is the state’s duty to defend (civilians) and we completely agree with the Commander-in-Chief’s pronouncements,” he added.
4th Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva earlier said that the November 9 incident is just plain murder.
“The killing of the infant and policeman – like other NPA executions – is just plain murder. The NPA’s actions and claims of revolutionary are flagrant violations of our law and international law. If they wanted to offer indemnification to the family, it would be best if they surrender the perpetrators to justice,” he said.
Villanueva added that in staging the ambush, the NPA have violated Part 4, Article 4, Num 4 of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) which states that civilians shall be treated as such and shall be distinguished from combatants and, together with their property, shall not be the object of attack.
The law also stressed that civilians shall be protected from indiscriminate strafing and use of landmines.