The New People’s Army and officials of the Communist Party of the Philippines, collectively referred to as a Communist Terrorist Group, may be compelled to indemnify victims of their human rights abuses and atrocities in the amount of billions, a spokesman for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict said yesterday.
Undersecretary Severo Catura, executive director of the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat, said that under existing local and international laws, particularly the International Humanitarian Law, parties that are found guilty of such abuses and atrocities committed in a situation of internal armed conflict may be compelled by the courts to indemnify their victims.
Under Section 14 of Republic Act 9851, or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity signed into law on Dec. 11, 2009, Catura said the courts follow the principles relating to reparations, including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation, and determine the amount of the same based on the scope and extent of damages inflicted.
Catura said it is high time that the CTGs be held accountable for their “spate of willful killings, their destruction of government and private property, their use of children as combatants, their internal purges, and their wanton disregard for human rights”.
The official’s pronouncement came as the AFP-Center on the Laws of Armed Conflict revealed Monday that the CPP-NPA was responsible for a staggering 1,506 atrocities and IHL violations recorded from 2010-2020.
AFP-CLOAC director, Brig. Gen. Jose Alejandro Nacnac, told newsmen that this proves without a doubt that there is “a nationwide pattern of organized, orchestrated, continuing, deliberate, and systematic scheme perpetrated by the Communist Terrorist Group which justifies their designation as a terrorist organization”.*PNA