November 23, 2005
AERIAL STRIKES IN QUEZON TRIGGERS MASSIVE EVACUATION
Houses are torn down as the AFP continued its aerial strike in hot pursuit of the fleeing NPA rebels. News from the areas affected by the encounter that reached KASAMA-TK Human Rights Desk indicated that a child is in critical condition and many others wounded as the residents scurried for safety”, said Guillermo Bautista, Chairperson of Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK).
“The implementation of indiscriminate aerial strikes by the AFP over civilian areas to crush their targets is a wanton disregard of the international humanitarian law on the rights of civilians caught in the crossfire in armed conflicts. We strongly denounce the massive disregard of human rights by the AFP in this mindless aerial strike and indiscriminate firing against the civilians” said Bautista.
According to wire reports, classess are now suspended in San Pablo City, Laguna and Tiaong, Quezon.
Orly Marcellana, Secretary General of KASAMA-TK strongly reacted to General Orbon’s statement early this morning stating that the evacuees will not be able to return anymore to their communities as their properties are already destroyed and their livestock taken by the NPAs.
“From the accounts of civilian victims of military operations, for example in Bgy. Villa Minda, Lopez, Quezon, it is the military who take their livestock without permission, destroy and divest of their properties whenever they conduct counter-insurgency operations”, said Marcellana.
“Orbon has no right to say that people can no longer return to their communities as the people have every right to their properties and livelihood. They should be the ones to protect and ensure civilian rights and their safety even during military operations”, insisted Marcellana.
Reference: Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK)