CHR probes alleged fake 'mass surrenders' of NPA rebels in Bulacan

CHR probes alleged fake 'mass surrenders' of NPA rebels in Bulacan

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said it has started an investigation into the alleged fake ‘mass surrenders’ of some 244 communist New Peoples Army (NPA) rebels in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan last April 30.

Some of those who surrendered are reportedly affiliated with Bayan Muna and the urban poor organization Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY).

CHR Spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia said the commission recently had a dialogue with Bayan Muna chairperson Neri Colmenares at the CHR Office in Quezon City.

“These reports have been received and shall be endorsed to the respective Regional Offices of the CHR for prompt investigation,” De Guia said in a statement.

While the results of the CHR investigation remain pending, the commission “strongly urges” the military to conduct its own parallel investigation to verify the veracity of the allegations.

“As CHR pursues its independent probe, we shall also be open in hearing the side of the military and the government on this concern,” De Guia said.

The CHR also reiterated its condemnation of “armed struggle and other forms of terrorism.”

“It is also our hope that there will be a significant reduction of violence on the ground, especially for conflict vulnerable and affected communities,” De Guia said. “We must put a stop to senseless violence.”