Victims of NPA urged to come forward

MANILA As the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) vows to make change happen, the military is encouraging Filipinos who have fallen prey to harassments and deceptive schemes of the New People's Army's (NPA) to seek justice.

In a social media post, the Philippine Army laid out the legal process of claiming justice through the help of the authorities.

First, victims must put into writing their sworn statement against the members of the terrorist group. The date and time of the incident, as well as other pertinent details, shall also be included in the letter.

Then they will have to report the incident to the local police.

It would be the police's job to prepare the judicial affidavit, incident report/police blotter, photo and/or video evidence, report from scenes of crime operation (SOCO), and medical certificate.

The victims are also encouraged to file a case before the Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Justice.

The members of the terrorist group may face charges for violating the Republic Act 9851 otherwise known as the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity.

The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

In earlier interview, AFP spokesperson, Col. Noel Detoyato, said the AFP will assist groups or individuals who want to file formal complaints against communist rebels.

"[If they wish to be accompanied] to our local courts and by using the provisions of IHL (International Humanitarian Law) in the International Courts and the UN tribunal by providing them with records of incidents of violation of human rights and provisions of IHL, we can provide assistance," Detoyato told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

The Department of National Defense (DND) also backed Detoyato's statement.

For five long decades, the NPA stained our soil with blood, extorted from our hard-working people, harassed our communities, and tore Filipino families apart. The screams for justice by their countless victims are deafening, and the President has heard them all, the DND said in a recent press statement.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency