Under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, Caraig’s rights as hors de combat were violated.
By JUSTIN UMALI
SANTA ROSA, Laguna – Combined elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police killed an injured man alleged to be a member of the revolutionary New People’s Army in sitio Boho, barangay San Antonio, Kalayaan, Laguna before detaining civilians and taking them to an undisclosed location, August 7.
According to eyewitness accounts given to human rights watchdog Karapatan Southern Tagalog, Mario Caraig was tending to an injury in the Asedillo residence when police raided the house and killed him. After the encounter, police arrested the three members of the Asedillo household – Virgilio Asedillio; his daughter Chloe, two months pregnant; and Chloe’s husband, who was unidentified, for “harboring a criminal.”
The raid occurred at approximately 11:10 in the evening. No formal charges were filed against the Asedillo family.
An official statement from the AFP’s 2nd Infantry Division asserted that Caraig was a high-ranking member of the NPA. He was reportedly issued an arrest warrant for multiple counts of murder and fought back.
Karapatan ST disputed this, saying that eyewitness accounts clearly stated that Caraig was wounded in the arm and was in no condition to fight back, making him hors de combat.
Karapatan ST slammed the arrests of the Asedillo family, calling it a clear case of “illegal detention.” They also stated that under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, Caraig’s rights as hors de combat were violated.
Under Part IV, Article 4 of CARHRIHL, persons considered hors de combat are “protected in all circumstances and treated humanely.” CARHRIHL also stipulates the wounded combatants must be collected and cared for by the “party in the armed conflict which has taken them in its custody or responsibility.”
CARHRIHL is a joint agreement signed by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in 1998 which guarantees basic rights for combatants and non-combatants on both sides of the armed conflict.
Karapatan ST is currently investigating the whereabouts of the Asedillo family.
The encounter occurred barely three days after police officers shot and killed Dioscoro Cello, Rey Masinas, and Alex Perdeguera in the same barangay. Their remains are currently in Camp Vicente Lim, Calamba, Laguna. Police officers have so far refused to entertain any request from family members to claim the remains.