April 8, 2007
Communist Party of the Philippines
CPP urges UNICEF to join probe of killing of 9-year old’s slay by military
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today urged the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as well as other human rights and children’s rights agencies to forge a team to probe the March 31 killing by the Philippine Army of a 9-year old child in a Compostela Valley barrio.
Grecil Galacio was killed by troops of the Philippine Army’s 67th Infantry Battalion that swooped down on Barangay Kahayag, New Bataan, Compostela Valley where the Galacio family lives. The army troopers initiated a firefight with a small unit of the New People’s Army (NPA) then resting in the area.
Grecil was killed after being deliberately shot at by Army soldiers who claimed that she was a “child soldier” of the New People’s Army (NPA) who engaged the troops in a firefight. Her parents are strongly protesting the military’s claim, insisting that the child was too young and small to even carry a rifle, had always lived with them and had actually just finished second grade in the local elementary school.
CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal urged the UNICEF as well as other agencies working for human rights and children’s rights to cooperate with Philippine human rights organizations to investigate the incident and determine the extent of violation of the international Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the UN conventions and protocols on human rights and humanitarian conduct of war as well as other pertinent rules and agreements, including the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) signed by the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
Rosal also encouraged the Galacio family to file a complaint before the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) that is tasked to monitor compliance with the provisions of the CARHRIHL and accept and investigate complaints on violations of the agreement.
Rosal said the New People’s Army and its local units will cooperate with the UNICEF and other agencies once such a probe is initiated. He said such an investigation will help the Galacio family dispel the lies being circulated by the AFP that Grecil was a member of the NPA and was shot by army troopers because she was firing at them.
In an earlier statement, Rosal denounced the AFP’s senseless violation of the humanitarian rules of war, its utter disregard for the rights and welfare of non-combatants especially children, and its efforts to twist the facts about their killing of the innocent child. He condemned the AFP’s desecration of Grecil’s dead body by placing an M-16 rifle beside her and then taking pictures of it “in order to lend credence to the malicious lies against Grecil and cover up their utterly heinous crime.” He vowed that revolutionary forces will exert all effort within its means to achieve justice for the Galacio family.
Rosal also urged human rights as well as civil, church, women and youth organizations to raise Grecil’s case before national and international venues “to expose the AFP’s brutal war of suppression that primarily victimizes children, women and other innocent civilians in complete disregard of international humanitarian norms of war that protect noncombatants.”
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