11 September 2008
DEATH OF 6 CIVILIANS IN DATU PIANG, MAGUINDANAO VIOLATION OF
INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW, AFP SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE
REP. LUZ C. ILAGAN 0920-9213221
Abby Valenzuela (Public Information Officer) 0915-7639619
Gabriela Women's Party Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan condemned today the
irresponsible attack of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in a
civilian area in Datu Piang, Maguindanao last Monday, which killed six
people, wounded and displaced many others, in the continuing effort to
hunt Moro Islamic Liberation Front Commander Umbra Kato.
"What the AFP did is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law
which states that the State is responsible for the protection of the
people living in conflict areas and not participating in the war. They
are especially accountable for the safety of women and children who
are the most vulnerable targets of war. As it turned out, it is the
supposed guardians who violated this law," the Mindanaoan solon said.
"The government should conduct an investigation into the irresponsible
actions of its military, especially after reports that the forces
hunting down the MILF used bomber aircrafts to indiscriminately fire
at civilians resulting to the death of six members of the Manunggal
family, including four children and an unborn child."
Ilagan wants the government to immediately conduct an investigation
and punish the military personnel involved in this recent atrocity to
give justice to Aida Mandi Manunggal, 23, pregnant, and her children
Bailyn, 10, Zukarudin, 7 Adtayan, 5 and Faida 2.
The victims, along with their neighbors in Barangay Te, were caught in
the crossfire and were fleeing for safer ground on board a banca when
an OV-10 aircraft dropped a bomb which exploded near their location.
Their bodies, once recovered, were riddled with shrapnel.
Manunggal's husband, Daya, and her son, Khneg, both wounded, are still
"To stop the human rights violations against innocent people in
conflict areas, the Malacanang should immediately order a ceasefire
and a pull-out of AFP troops from Mindanao," Ilagan said.