A statement from the National Democratic Front

By Ma. Roja Banua


CHR must concentrate on investigating cases of state terrorism, not on curtailing the people’s sovereign right to revolt.


The Commission on Human Rights humiliates itself in inanely criticizing the Celso Minguez Command NPA-Sorsogon on its legitimate armed operation against elements of the 504th Police Maneuver Company-Regional Mobile Force Battalion Reg. V in Brgy. Esperanza, Pilar, Sorsogon last February 28. Taking after their addlebrained president Duterte, the office seems to have forgotten the Filipino society’s realities and have gotten confused on the meaning of rights and laws of warfare. NDF-Bikol urges CHR to review the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), Protocol II of the Geneva Conventions and other laws on the topic to stop them from future baseless accusations.


First of all, tactical offensives of the NPA are an integral part of the people’s exercise of their sovereign right to take up arms and defend their ranks. The whole international community recognizes a citizen’s right to exhaust all recourses in defense against any force especially when their state, through its laws, fails to do so. The existence of liberation movements, like the CPP-NPA-NDF-led revolution in the country, is clearly stated in the International Bill of Rights. The conception of other international laws such as the Protocol II of the Geneva Conventions further cements this recognition. To fight against the exploitation wielded by the reactionary government will never be tantamount to terrorism. Accordingly, the NPA is an army of ordinary people who suffer from state oppression and violence.


Secondly, Red fighters of the CMC NPA-Sorsogon did not commit any violation of right nor international laws governing a war. Like all the other tactical offensives of any NPA unit, CMC’s snipe operation was launched against legitimate targets – savage elements who accumulated blood debts against the masses and who stood as instruments of violence and oppression.


The CHR must be reminded of the fundamental difference between revolutionary just violence and state violence. The revolutionary justice is deeply rooted on the masses interests and serves as their weapon against the brutal and indiscriminate state violence.


The people would have benefited more if only CHR had focused on solving the innumerable cases filed to their office regarding human rights violations perpetuated by the AFP-PNP-CAFGU instead of standing in the way of the people’s just armed struggle. If they are to investigate, they should have been working on the endless stream of extrajudicial killings and massacres, extensive aerial strikes that have wrought massive havoc against the lives and livelihood of the masses, cases of illegal arrests, torture, intimidation and many other. They should have been investigating the murderous military and police who target civilians and the threadbare rhetoric of nanlaban-patay.


What has become of the investigation on the case of Jaymar Palero and Marlon Naperi? Two activists shot in cold blood by members of PNP-Albay on July 26, 2021. This is only one out of the many cases filed before the office of the CHR. Human rights violation cases filed by ordinary people seem to run like a marathon of turtles in their offices. This, notwithstanding the fact that there is almost always a torrent of undeniable evidences clearly showing that elements of the PNP or AFP were responsible for the deaths, abduction or illegal arrest of these civilians.


With this, the CHR should expect that the masses will continue to pound at the CHR’s gates until this agency seriously fulfill its mandate as an independent institution for human rights. This is their only job and the people expect nothing less from them.