DAVAO CITY, Philippines— The Army’s 10th Infantry Division dared Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao to file cases in courts against soldiers whom he believed committed abuses in the performance of their duty as state security forces.
“As we have always said, we call on the good Congressman and all others who are making allegations against our units and troops to file the appropriate complaints in the proper investigating government agencies and courts,” said Capt. Rhyan Batchar, spokesperson of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, in a statement sent to media on Sunday.
On May 5, the militant lawmaker demanded the immediate pullout of military troops from Compostella Valley province following the death of Federico “Pande” Plaza, a Lumad farmer-activist and a village indigenous people mandatory representative of Poblacion in Maragusan, Compostela Valley who was gunned down by unidentified assailants at 4 p.m on May 3, Wednesday.
Casilao blamed the Army’s 71st and 46th Infantry Battalion to be responsible for Plaza’s death. Both the army units based in Compostella Valley province are under the jurisdiction of 10th ID.
Batchar, however, denied the allegation of Casilao that the AFP was responsible for the alleged killings of farmer-activists in Compostella Valley province.
“We call on Cong Casilao to go beyond mouthing the usual propaganda of the communists against the AFP and instead bring these alleged abusive soldiers before the bar of justice,” he said. “We will be very grateful to those who will bring formal complaints against any of our erring officers and personnel, as this will help us purge our ranks of misfits and abusive personnel.”
The army spokesperson has called on the militant lawmaker to bring alleged abusive soldiers before the bar of justice by filing complaints to the proper courts.
“We assure the Congressman of our support and cooperation on any investigation that will be made against our personnel. We urge Cong Casilao and all his allies to encourage the alleged victims to bring their case before the court of justice rather than in street protest rallies, which we surmise are only intended to besmirch the good name of the AFP and the government as a whole,” Batchar said.
Meanwhile, the 10th ID has filed 19 formal complaints against the New People’s Army before the Joint Monitoring Committee for grossly violating the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Law (CARHRIHL).
Of the 19 violations, 15 were perpetrated against civilians which violates Article 4.4 of Part IV of the CARHRIHL. While four violations committed against soldiers and paramilitary personnel which is in violation of Article 3.4 of Part 4 of the agreement as well as the killings of three unarmed, off-duty soldiers and CAFGU personnel, a violation of Article 4.1 of Part 4 of the said agreement. (davaotoday.com)