Group criticizes 84th IB for displaying corpses of Red fighters as war trophies

This article is available in Pilipino

Karapatan-Central Luzon condemned the 84th IB and 7th ID for displaying and presenting the bodies of five Red fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA) as war trophies. The five were reportedly killed in an encounter in Barangay Malibang, Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija on June 26.

The group expressed concern over the military units’ social media posts showing images of the remains. They stated that desecrating the bodies of the deceased violates international humanitarian law and the principles of civilized warfare.

This practice is not new for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The military commonly displays bodies of slain revolutionaries or civilians on social media for their paid trolls to feast on.

Not long ago, the AFP did this with the body of Jevelyn Cullamat, daughter of indigenous leader and former Bayan Muna Party-list Representative Eufemia Cullamat, who was killed in an encounter on November 28, 2020. The military placed a rifle and other seized items next to Jevelyn’s body as if they were “war loot.” This case was among those brought by human rights groups to the International People’s Tribunal in May, which found Marcos, Duterte, and the US government guilty of war crimes.

Karapatan-Central Luzon also expressed concern that one of the presented bodies was blindfolded, which they say is unusual in encounters. The group is also worried about the AFP’s delayed disclosure of the three women killed in the alleged clash, despite their remains being in a nearby area.

“The AFP has a long history of disregarding the laws of war. There are many cases where they do not respect the lives of their enemy,” the group emphasized. This is why they are concerned about the circumstances of the alleged Red fighters’ deaths and violations of international humanitarian law.

Karapatan-Central Luzon stated that ongoing cases of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and killing of hors de combat prove the AFP’s disrespect and non-compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

In light of this, the victims’ families, various humanitarian organizations, and Karapatan-Central Luzon called for respect for the laws of war and the rights of revolutionary forces. “We demand justice and a thorough investigation for those who perished,” the group added.

Karapatan-Central Luzon and the victims’ family members went to Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija today to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones. They insist that the families should be granted respect and allowed peaceful and unhindered retrieval of the remains.

AB: Group criticizes 84th IB for displaying corpses of Red fighters as war trophies