The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said that it will investigate the death of 15 members of the New People’s Army in Nasugbu, Batangas and the ambush attack that lead to the death of a Catholic priest in Nueva Ecija.
On mid-November, 15 alleged members of the NPA were killed in a clash with government troops. Among the 15, five of them were females including one student activist from the University of the Philippines.
According to CHR Commissioner Chito Gascon, he directed the CHR – Calabarzon to investigate the truth behind the death of the alleged NPA fighters.
Gascon stressed that he would like to verify if the troops followed the rule of engagement when dealing with armed rebels and if they initiated ‘excessive forces’ in dealing with the situation.
The CHR has also deployed a team to peer into the death of 72-year-old Father Marcelito ‘Tito’ Paez, who was killed by unknown gunmen in Jaen, Nueva Ecija on December 4 after he helped facilitate the release of a political prisoner on the same day.
The retired priest was killed by a motorcycle riding-in-tandem while he was driving through San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija.
The CHR has also expressed its concern over the recent killings following the downfall of the administration’s peace negotiations with the communist rebels.