By Edwin Iyo
Claveria, Misamis Oriental — Chairman Michael Hermosa of Barangay Tipolohon, here, has issued an appeal to the New People’s Army (NPA) operating in their area to respect the rights of civilians and spare them from their armed conflict with government forces.
Hermosa issued the appeal at the heels of the burning of heavy equipment of a construction company here late last week. He reminded the communist combatants to respect the International Humanitarian Law that private companies and civilians should not be included in war or armed conflicts.
“Ang kahadlok ug kabalaka sa mga sibilyan ug private companies nagpabilin tungod sa nang labay nga pang hitabo diin upat na ka mga heavy equipment gipangsunog,” said Hermosa said.
He added that the incidents have also affected the livelihood of the people in his barangay.
For his part, Municipal Councilor Jocard Dalman, chairman of the committee on peace and order, urged in a phone interview that both the government and rebel forces not to involve the civilians in their conflict.
“Let us ask the rebels and the government soldiers to assure our civilians’ safety,” Dalman said.
In a phone interview, Lt. Col. Roy Anthony Derilo, commanding officer of the Army’s 58th Infantry Battalion, said the civilians should file charges against the NPAs for violating the law.
“Not only the NPA but also soldiers who violate the International Humanitarian Law are also liable,” he added.