Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann C. de Guia, on the alleged NPA attacks in Misamis Oriental

Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann C. de Guia, on the alleged NPA attacks in Misamis Oriental

The Commission of Human Rights (CHR) strongly condemns the recent burning of an evangelical church and houses in a mountainous village in Opol town, Misamis Oriental allegedly perpetrated by members of the New People’s Army.

The incident occurred last 28 May 2020 while the country remains to be in the middle of a health crisis. As if the threat of the coronavirus is not worrisome enough, these acts of terrorism were meant to instill fear, anger, and hatred in the hearts and minds of the people, particularly among our tribal communities in rural areas.

The CHR does not support communist rebels and the armed struggle but commits solidarity with oppressed communities through non-violent means. By and large, these attacks run counter to the cessation of hostilities declared between the Reds and government during the start of the pandemic. It is deplorable that the communist groups decided to end the ceasefire in May and continues to endanger innocent civilians while they carry out acts of lawlessness such as destruction of public and private properties.

The CHR has been consistent in denouncing these atrocities and in forwarding its plea to both the government and insurgent groups to put an end to the long-standing armed conflict in the country. We need to fully realise peace negotiations where both parties will have confidence that each one will keep their word of maintaining peace.

We do not discount that these conflicts are deeply rooted in historical injustices that have endured several decades of oppression and that need to be equally addressed by the government. But now more than ever, we need to band together as a nation and concentrate our efforts in overcoming a global health crisis that crosscuts all sectors of our society and jeopardises the lives of every Filipino especially the most vulnerable, disadvantaged, and marginalised.

Instead of violence, we underscore the importance of peacebuilding and emphasises the need for engaging and collaborating with local communities in nurturing sustainable and lasting peace. ###

One Response

  1. The government should never negotiate peace-talks with terrorists. Terrorists don’t have a cause to fight for. Burning churches and houses of innocent people is plain terrorism.