The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today condemned the Makabayan Bloc for urging the Absalon family to file a complaint before the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) which according to them accepts complaints on violations of International Humanitarian Law by the New People’s Army (NPA).
DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that the Left-wing bloc is giving the Absalon family false hopes since the JMC no longer exists ever since the peace talks collapsed between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines/NPA/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF).
“The Joint Monitoring Committee was disbanded many years back. It no longer exists. It’s just unfortunate that the Makabayan Bloc is misleading the Absalon family who is demanding justice for the death of Keith and Nolven Absalon,” he said.
Malaya said that rather than complaining with the defunct JMC, the authorities together with the families will file cases against the perpetrators before the courts so that they can undergo trial.
He said that justice will only be served if the CPP/NPA surrender the perpetrators to the proper authorities. “Since the CPP/NPA has accepted full responsibility for the senseless murder, it now becomes their duty to turn over the terrorists responsible for the deaths so that justice may be served to their families and loved ones,” he added.
“The only way that justice may be served is for the perpetrators to face trial. Human Rights Watch said that the perpetrators are subject to criminal prosecution not only in the Philippines but around the world. We must make sure they are prosecuted here in our country,” he said.
Rather than misleading the Absalon family, Malaya said that the Makabayan Bloc should instead pressure the CPP/NPA into turning over the perpetrators to the Commission on Human Rights so that wheels of justice may turn.
“We wish to emphasize that the Makabayan Bloc are government officials receiving salaries from the taxes of the people. A dastardly crime has been committed here. The DILG challenges the Makabayan Bloc and their allied organizations to pressure the CPP/NPA to turn over those responsible and to condemn the CPP/NPA for manufacturing, stockpiling, transporting, and using anti-personnel mines all over the country,” he said.
He said that Republic Act No. 9851 known as the "Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity" and a 1997 international treaty ban the use of such anti-personnel mines but the NDF continues to tolerate if not acquiesce to the actions of the CPP/NPA which has led to numerous civilian deaths through the years.
“The eyes of the international community are on us. Human Rights Watch has called the use of anti-personnel mines, banned in the Philippines and the world under the Mine Ban Treaty, as a war crime. We challenge the Makabayan Bloc, who are government officials, to do their legal obligation,” he said.
Malaya said that it’s no wonder that 84 percent of local government units (LGUs) nationwide have declared the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata. A total of 1,436 out of 1,715 provinces, cities, and municipalities around the country have passed resolutions through their local legislative bodies condemning the atrocities of the Communist terrorist groups (CTGs) and proclaiming them to be unwelcome in their locality.
He said that these resolutions serve as an express declaration of the sentiment of the Sanggunians composed of elective officials, who represent the voice of their respective constituencies, that the ideologies and acts of CTGs are detested by the Filipino people.