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CHR to look into ambush of soldiers

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has initiated an investigation into the ambush staged by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Albay on Sunday that killed three soldiers and wounded another.

Cpl. Joemar Maravilla and Pfcs. Ronald Zamora and Reymar Palencia were killed while Sgt. Ferdinand Ignas was wounded.

“While every individual has the absolute right to believe or subscribe to any ideology, the right to act in accordance with one’s belief cannot be absolute,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said.

The CHR had earlier called on the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA to adhere to international humanitarian law (IHL) following reports of attacks against civilian properties.

“IHL covers both state and non-state actors alike. Victims must also be protected from atrocities perpetrated by rebel forces lest we disregard the spirit of IHL and its relevance, especially for communities most affected by armed atrocities,” it said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines through its Human Rights Office has filed several cases before the CHR regarding attacks against civilian properties allegedly perpetrated by the CPP-NPA since 2010.

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