Use of force against protesters violates human rights, humanitarian law

A police mobile runs over several protesters in front of the United States Embassy, Oct. 19. (Photo grabbed from Altermidya video)
A police mobile runs over several protesters in front of the United States Embassy, Oct. 19. (Photo grabbed from Altermidya video)

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) said it will not hesitate and is ready to assist those who were illegally arrested and injured in filing charges against those responsible for the dispersal.

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat

MANILA — A police vehicle rammed through the protesters at the United States Embassy this afternoon, Oct. 19. More than 50 were injured and 29 were arrested. Members of the Manila Police District also threw tear gas canisters and hit the protesters with truncheons.

A day before at Camp Aguinaldo, police used water cannons to disperse indigenous peoples and Moros protesting the killings and militarization of their communities.

The two incidents of violent dispersal of peaceful protests violate the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) signed by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in 1998.

The first substantive agreement between the GRP and the NDFP, CARHRIHL upholds the principles and standards embodied in international instruments of human rights. These include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which upholds, among others, the right to free speech and assembly, to seek redress of grievances and the right to freedom of thought and expression, freedom of political beliefs.

Article 3 of the CARHRIHL includes the right not to be punished or held accountable in the exercise of these civil and political rights.

Furthermore, Article 7 of the CARHRIHL states that the GRP shall work for the repeal of any repressive laws, decrees and other executive issuances including Batas Pambansa 880, which is often used by authorities to justify violent dispersal of peaceful assemblies.

In a statement sent to Bulatlat, the Communist Party of the Philippines urged the negotiating panel of the NDFP to raise the matter of the violent dispersal with their GRP counterparts.

During the second round of peace talks held in Oslo, Norway earlier this month, both parties agreed to reactivate the Joint Monitoring Committee for the implementation of CARHRIHL.

The CPP holds the leadership of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and officials of the Duterte government responsible for the violent incidents.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) said it will not hesitate and is ready to assist those who were illegally arrested and injured in filing charges against those responsible for the dispersal.

Supporters of the indigenous peoples and Moros have posted on social media the photographs of Senior Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo who ordered the dispersal, and Police Officer 3 Franklin Kho who ran over the protesters. ()

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