Joint Statement of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA)
and the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA)
Stop the military operations in Lacub, Abra!
The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) and the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) call on all units under the 5th and 7th Infantry Divisions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to stop its ongoing military operations and terrorism in Lacub, Abra province, for the safety of the communities and to give way to for the communities to attend to their livelihood.
We urgently call on government officials and local government units in Abra province, including the Church, and to all who believe in life, to call on the AFP to stop its military operations in Lacub.
The Philippines is a signatory to the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) enshrined in the Geneva Convention and the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), and the AFP must adhere to these. As the operations continue, even civilians are now among the victims of the military. In fact, a civilian was killed by the AFP when he tried to retrieve the dead. These are grave violations to the IHL.
Aside from the lives of the civilian population, the operation also greatly impacts on the local peace and security situation. In this state of terror and fear because resulting from the military operation, residents cannot attend to their agricultural activities. It is greatly feared that this continuing operation will result to food insecurity, hunger, forcible migration, among others.
We reiterate our call for the immediate resumption of the formal peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The pressing poverty, hunger and state of human rights are more than compelling grounds to resume the formal peace talks. We strongly urge the Philippine government fulfill and respect its obligations as part of confidence building measures to the Peace Talks. We challenge public officials in the Cordillera region and the rest of the country to take up this call in the spirit of pursuing just and lasting peace in the Cordillera and the rest of the Philippines and we appeal to all advocates of peace and human rights to support this call. ***