Killed 9-Year-Old Girl Was Not NPA: Karapatan

Apr. 04, 2007

DAVAO CITY — Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region lambasted today the 10th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for sowing lies about the killing of a nine-year-old girl, Grecil Buya, claiming that she was a New Peoples Army fighter who died in a clash last March 31 in Baragay Kahayag, New Bataan, Compostela Valley Province.

Kelly M. Delgado, secretary general of Karapatan Southern Mindanao, said that the claim of the military was a “shameless accusation” designed to destroy the identity of the victim and justify the death of the girl.

Last March 31, 2007 at around 8:00 in the morning, Grecil, who used her mother’s surname, and his brother Gary Galacio, 6 yrs old, asked permission from their parent to go to the nearby river to take a bath.

After few minutes, they heard gun fires. Gary returned to their house leaving Gracel behind. The neighbors and the Barangay Capt. Eulogio Almasa attested that there was no rifle and ammunitions seen in Grecil remains. Almasa also vouched to the fact that the girl or any members of the family are not communist rebels.

It is clear that the claim of the military has no factual and truthful basis. The truth is that Gracel is not a child combatant. The only factual and truthful thing in this case is that the military is making stories again, planting evidences again to justify evil accomplishmentsand this time the victim is Grecil, Delgado said.

This is not the first case that the military killed civilians in the countryside. It is normal for them to treat civilians as their enemy especially in areas which they believed as stronghold or influenced by the rebel group, Delgado added.

This mode of operations, he said, grossly violates the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and the Geneva Conventions-Protocol 1 and 2 mandating armed parties to distinguished civilians and combatant. To stress with civilians and its properties must at all times not subjected to attacks.

We commended the effort of Grecils uncle, neighbors, Barangay officials and her parents for telling the truth and with no fear exposing the military to the public a liar, Delgado said.

It is clear that the militarys willingness to kill innocent civilian continues in order to justify their ends. The ongoing military operations and troop deployments terrorize civilian communities and curtail human rights in the area. We strongly call the attention of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to urgently conduct investigation and give concrete actions to the killing of Grecil justice must be served, Delgado said.

Kelgado said that the massing up of government forces in the area is because of the governments interest in allowing the entry and implementation of the transnational corporation projects this year.

These projects aim to cover at least 1,000 hectares of rubber plantation and 700 hectares for mining activities, Delgado said. (Karapatan press release)

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