Philippines: Laws of war, Constitution require Trillanes et al to speak out on slays

Jun. 20, 2007

By Satur C. Ocampo
Bayan Muna President

There are many legal, political and moral bases for Senator-elect
Antonio Trillanes IV and other officers and gentlemen of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines to expose the truth about extrajudicial
executions, abductions and torture of Filipino activists which are
actually violations of international humanitarian law or the laws of

It is an open secret that the Oplan Bantay Laya I and II, the
counter-insurgency operation-plans against the New People’s Army,
consider as targets legal people’s organizations and the civilians and
non-combatants that compose them. The results are horrendous: 863
slain activists and civilians and 118 victims of enforced

This dirty war approved by President Arroyo and pushed by militarists
led by National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales and AFP Chief
Hermogenes Esperon is downright illegal under the laws of war.

Under the Geneva Conventions or the laws of war, soldiers and officers
of all parties to armed conflicts are prohibited from harming or
killing any civilian, non-combatant or hors de combat (combatants
rendered immobile or unable to fight).

Like Sen.-elect Trillanes, the officers and gentlemen of the AFP
should be true to their oaths as soldiers, and uphold the Constitution
and the laws of war. They should speak out now and do their part in
stopping extrajudicial executions, abductions and torture. ###

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