The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces the flagging down and subjecting to search and interrogation of a medical convoy of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Lianga, Surigao del Sur last Friday.
The flagging down and inspection of the ICRC convoy, clearly marked with the Red Cross logos, was an unaccepatable affront on international humanitarian law (IHL). As a recognized guardian of IHL, the ICRC medical convoy should have been accorded due respect and allowed to travel unimpeded.
The First Geneva Conventions establishes that the red cross emblem identifies and protects medical personnel from attack. According to the ICRC, “The emblem also protects medical equipment, such as vehicles and medical buildings as long as they are not being used for military purposes.”
This incident marks a new level of impunity of the military and police forces under Duterte’s de facto martial law regime.
The ICRC convoy was reported to be transporting two wounded fighters identified as Jea Angeles Perez, 22, and Noel Dadang, 32, both hors de combat under IHL.
To add further insult, the ICRC convoy was surrounded and “escorted” by Army and police vehicles on its way to a medical facility in Tagum City, Davao del Norte with the aim of subjecting the two patients to arrest and detention. The AFP virtually turned the ICRC convoy into a prisoner transport for the AFP in violation of the ICRC’s recognized international role.
The Party calls on all democratic forces to denounce the AFP assault against international humanitarian law and demand reparation. The Party demands respect for the rights of the detained and calls for their immediate release under IHL.