In the pursuit of achieving revolutionary justice for the victims of state-sponsored terrorism and fascism, the Merardo Arce Command of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Southern Mindanao formally indicts 12 officials, members, and agents of the Military Intelligence Battalion; four officials, members and agents of the Military Intelligence Group XI of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; commanders of the Eastern Mindanao Command and the 10th Infantry Division of the AFP. The AFP commander-in-chief Gloria Arroyo along with Gen. Eduardo Ermita and AFP chief of staff Gen. Alexander Yano were also indicted for the abduction, torture, rape and murder of Rebelyn Pitao.
Based on the results of the investigation done by a special investigative body created for this purpose, the Merardo Arce Command-NPA has found prima facie facts against the following Respondents:
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Gen. Eduardo R. Ermita, Gen. Alexander B. Yano, Maj. Gen. Raymundo B. Ferrer, Maj. Gen. Reynaldo B. Mapagu; Sgt. Ben Tipait a.k.a. Edmar, Sgt. Romeo Marcos a.k.a. Adan Sulao, Col. Caguiwa, Sgt. Romeo Carreon. Sgt. Helvin Bitang, Sgt. Romeo Carreon, Cpl. Orly Pedregoza, Cpl. Winnie Carampatana, Sgt. Melvin Punla, Maj. Cabanalan, Sgt. Caballero and other agents, members and officials of the Military Intelligence Battalion of the 10th Infantry Division-AFP known as Hagto, Embac, alias Ariel, alias Benjak, Reynaldo Desales a.k.a. Joemar, Sgt. Senit, and other John and Jane Does.
An indictment dated March 29 has been issued by the Merardo Arce Command-NPA against the above-named Respondents for acts that constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law (IHL). The premeditated acts of abduction, the use of torture, sexual abuse and murder clearly violated Protocols I and II of the Geneva Conventions that prohibits targetting civilians and non-combatants, and violates the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights. The provisions are as follows:
Article 48 (Basic rule in protection of civilian population) of Protocol I (Relating to the protection of victims of international armed Conflicts): “In order to ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives.”
Article 51, par 2 Protocol I and Article 13, par 2 Protocol II: (Related to the protection of the victims in non-international armed conflicts): “The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.”
International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights
PART III, Art. 6, par 1: Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.
The arrest and capture of these war criminals in the course of the people’s war shall facilitate the expedition of the duties of the people’s court established for the trial of the named accused. The Merardo Arce Command-NPA recommends that after due trial, the accused should be meted out with the appropriate penalties.
Their trial is in accordance with international humanitarian law and the revolutionary legal and judicial system and processes of the People’s Democratic Government fully taking into account pertinent provisions of the 1998 GRP-NDFP Comprehensive agreement on respect for human rights and international humanitarian law (CAR-HR-IHL) and the 1996 NDFP Unilateral Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and Protocol I of 1977 Thereto.
The above-named respondents are guaranteed and shall be accorded humane treatment should they surrender voluntarily, recognize or submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the people’s court or, in appropriate cases, should the above-named combatants and agents be arrested in the course of the people’s war. They are guaranteed due process and all rights appurtunent to their status and conditions under international humanitarian law including the right to prepare and present their defense, right to counsel, and to appeal on any decision.
The abduction, torture, rape and murder of Rebelyn Pitao serves the interest of the regime which employs its armed forces to quell dissent, silence its critics, sow state terrorism and attempts to suppress the surging tide of the revolution. These criminal acts demonstrate the desperation and utter failure of the US-Arroyo regime.
Along with the revolutionary legal and judicial processes of the People’s Democratic Government, the tactical offensives of the New People’s Army and the gains and advances of the revolutionary movement shall serve the interest of justice.
Rigoberto F. Sanchez
Merardo Arce Command
Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command
New People’s Army