The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will probe allegations that soldiers raped a Lumad minor in Davao del Norte and stressed that it does not tolerate human rights violations within its ranks.
By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated September 9, 2015 – 5:04pm
MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will probe allegations that soldiers raped a Lumad minor in Davao del Norte and stressed that it does not tolerate human rights violations within its ranks.
Lt. Col. Alfredo Patarata, acting chief of the Army Human Rights Office, said three soldiers are now being investigated and have been placed under the custody of an Army division in Mindanao pending the results of the probe.
“The Philippine Army will not tolerate its erring personnel, especially those who will violate the human rights regardless of rank and position,” Patarata said in a statement.
“We are now conducting a special investigation on the three Army soldiers involved in the alleged sexual offense on a Lumad minor in Talaingod, Davao del Norte,” he added.
The Army withheld the identities of the three soldiers citing “due process.”
“Even it is still an allegation, we take it seriously,” Patarata said.
“Our adherence to human rights, international humanitarian law, and the rule of law is an imperative to the success of our current campaign,” the Army official added.
The Army Human Rights Office was formed in 2010 and is tasked to monitor complaints against Army personnel. The office directs concerned units to conduct an initial investigation on reported human rights violations.
The investigating units will then recommend further probe and prosecution of erring personnel before the General Court Martial.