ZAMBOANGA CITY: Communist leaders have ordered rebels to indemnify four emergency workers wounded in a roadside explosion while on their way to evacuate government soldiers injured in clashes with the New People’s Army (NPA) in southern Philippines.
It was not immediately known how much the rebels would indemnify the four workers but Rubi del Mundo, a spokesperson for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), said the NPA has apologized for the attack that wounded Genaro Doronio Dumayas, Bonita de la Cruz, Arnel Comandante Veloroso and Alberto Simbajon Cabual in the village of Managa in Davao del Sur’s Bansalan town during a tactical offensive.
”The order acts upon the apology and recommendations submitted by the NPA’s Southern Mindanao Regional Command. This is a unilateral exercise of revolutionary political authority by a government of the working class and peasantry that has its own legal and judicial system and rules in accordance with its political principles and circumstances,” del Mundo said.
The move, del Mundo added, is in compliance with the Geneva Conventions for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces, the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, the NDFP Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol I of 1977, the Constitutional Guide for Establishing the People’s Democratic Government, and the Basic Rules of the New People’s Army.
The NDFP also denounced the military for endangering medical responders by concealing their identities in the battlefield.
Del Mundo said rebel forces have absolute respect for human rights and international humanitarian law.
“They hold in high esteem members of the medical and emergency response profession who have the noble occupation of preserving life under strenuous circumstances,” he added.
Rebel offensives have sparked the revival of the anti-communist vigilante group Alsa Masa in Davao del Sur but del Mundo claimed that this will only endanger the lives of civilians, ordinary peasants and progressive leaders.
“By sponsoring Alsa Masa, covert vigilante groups and arming civilians, local government officials and the military are opening the floodgates for more human rights atrocities,” he warned.
NPA rebels have been waging a secessionist war for decades now to put up a communist state in the country.