Duterte regime is the top recruiter of NPA: PKM rejoinder to AFP’s disrespect for the dead, utter violation of IHL

The Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid (PKM-NDFP) scoffed at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for its tirade that slain New People’s Army (NPA) fighter Kerima Lorena Tariman was a ‘notorious terrorist’ and ‘extortionist’ and that she lured students to the NPA. Tariman was summarily killed by soldiers of the 79th IBPA in Barangay Kapitan Ramon, Silay City in Negros Occidental last August 20. Tariman was killed along with another NPA fighter Ka Pabling.

Kerima was a long-time activist, cultural worker, and peasant advocate before she decided to take up arms and join the NPA. Her recruiter was the Government of the Philippines, particularly, the Duterte regime, which in 2018, has tossed to the bin all efforts to resolve the root causes of the armed conflict by terminating the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and waging an all-out brutal war against the people.

“Indeed, the mercenary AFP has no respect for the living and the dead. AFP deputy chief of staff for operations Maj. Gen. Edgardo de Leon and Maj. Cenon Pancito III of the 3rd Infantry Division should just shut their foul mouths if they have nothing worthy to say. Instead of maligning the dead and disrespecting the memory of Tariman, the local AFP and PNP in Negros should just expedite the immediate release of Tariman’s remains to her family.

The NDFP-member organization said the AFP doesn’t even have the basic decency to respect the dead and the grieving family.

“Combatants who are killed in action must be respected, based on International Humanitarian Laws. The Geneva Convention and other statutes guarantee this. Even the AFP’s own Military Instructions (1989) states: “Respect for the dead which includes our own troops, the enemy and particularly innocent civilians must be a paramount concern of all commanders and troops at all levels… All dead bodies … must be handled humanely and treated with care and respect.”

Unfortunately, rude and inhumane as they are, the AFP and PNP have a long record of disrespecting the dead,” Agtalon said as he recounted the incident of desecration of the remains of Jevilyn Campos Cullamat, a medic in the NPA unit in Surigao Del Sur who was killed in an encounter with government troops. The Philippine Army’s 3rd Special Forces Battalion posed for photos with Jevilyn’s body. ###

Duterte regime is the top recruiter of NPA: PKM rejoinder to AFP's disrespect for the dead, utter violation of IHL