Pastor Apollo Quiboloy has falsely claimed that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) “doesn’t pry” into human rights violations of the New People’s Army (NPA).
This was his reaction to a statement from CHR Chairperson Richard Palpal-latoc that the agency is “willing to cooperate” with the International Criminal Court (ICC) on its investigation of the drug war-related killings during the Duterte administration.
In a program titled “Give Us This Day” and aired on Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) on Aug. 24, Quiboloy said:
“Commission on Human Rights ang pinag-uusapan dito. Eh, itong Commission on Human Rights hindi naman pinakikialaman ang human rights violations ng CPP-NPA-NDF [Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front]. Saan maraming namatay, sa CPP-NPA-NDF terrorist group o sa drug war na ang pakay ay iligtas ang kabataan at ang lahat ng tao ng Pilipinas para hindi masira sa drugs at maging zombie nation tayo? Saan maraming namatay? Sabihin mo.
(We are talking here about the Commission on Human Rights. This Commission on Human Rights, it doesn’t pry on the human rights violations of the CPP-NPA-NDF. Which one had more killings: the CPP-NPA-NDF terrorist group or the drug war which was intended to save the youth and everyone here in the Philippines so that their lives won’t be ruined by drugs and we won’t become a zombie nation? Which one had more killings? Tell me.)
Source: SMNI News, CHR, dapat kondenahin ang CTG bago ang drug war ng Duterte admin — Pastor ACQ, Aug. 24, 2023, watch from 2:19 to 2:52
Quiboloy, a close ally of former president Rodrigo Duterte, added:
“Pilit nilang pinapapasok dito ang ICC. Eh, balik-balik na ‘yung ano natin dito… narrative na kahit ang pangulo natin na nagsabing we are cutting off ties with ICC… mga senador natin, mga congressmen natin. Lahat ng mga naririto ay ayaw nila na pakialaman tayo ng ICC.”
(They’ve been insisting for the ICC to come here. But we keep repeating our narrative that even our president has said that we are cutting off ties with the ICC… our senators, our congressmen. Everyone here doesn’t want the ICC to meddle with us.)
Source: watch from 0:44 to 1:12
The CHR investigates killings allegedly committed by the NPA. It launched at least two probes in April this year, and another two in May and October 2022. In June 2021, it investigated the death of two individuals in Masbate, who were killed due to an anti-personnel landmine blast allegedly detonated by members of the NPA.
In 2022 alone, the CHR investigated a total of 281 incidents violating International Humanitarian Law (IHL) allegedly perpetrated by non-state actors, including but not limited to the NPA.
IHL is a set of rules that seek to limit the effects of armed conflict on civilians.
Similarly, the CHR investigates violations in which members of the military were allegedly involved, such as the maltreatment of arrested Aetas in September 2020, the killings of three Lumad in Surigao del Sur in June 2021 and the extrajudicial killing of peasant organizer and NDF Party consultant Ericson Acosta and peasant organizer Joseph Jimenez in December 2022.
It has also launched an investigation into the brutal killing of a red-tagged farmer’s family in June this year. The CHR said it will pursue all possible angles to seek justice for the victims, in light of allegations linking the deaths to both the NPA and the Philippine Army.
One of these is the principle of humane treatment, which requires that civilians not taking a direct part in the hostilities be treated humanely at all times. This forbids violence to life and people, hostage-taking, and execution without regular trial against non-combatants.
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Inquirer.net, CHR willing to work with ICC on PH drug war probe, Aug. 23, 2023
GMA News Online, CHR ready to cooperate with ICC probe on drug war, Aug. 23, 2023
SMNI News, CHR, dapat kondenahin ang C.T.G bago ang drug war ng Duterte admin —Pator ACQ, Aug. 24, 2023
Commission on Human Rights, Statement of the Commission on Human Rights condemning the use of an improvised explosive device by armed rebels in Masbate, April 3, 2023
Commission on Human Rights, Statement of the Commission on Human Rights condemning the killing of a farmer and carpenter by NPA forces in Negros, April 21, 2023
802nd Infantry Brigade (Philippine Army), LOOK: PRESS RELEASE, May 31, 2022
Inquirer.net, Army welcomes CHR probe vs NPA members over man’s slay in Leyte, June 1, 2022
Philippine News Agency, https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1175626, June 1, 2022
Commission on Human Rights, Statement of the Commission on Human Rights denouncing the recent attacks of alleged NPA rebels in Visayas, Oct. 13, 2022
Commission on Human Rights, Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the death of two individuals in Masbate due to a landmine blast and torching of a bus in North Cotabato, June 7, 2021
Commission on Human Rights, Personal Communication (online), Aug. 31, 2023
International Committee of the Red Cross, What is the International Humanitarian Law?, 2004
United Nations, International humanitarian law, accessed Aug. 30, 2023
CHR investigations on alleged violations of the military
- Commission on Human Rights, Press Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the Allegations of the Maltreatment of Aetas by the Philippine Army’s 7th Infantry Division, Sept. 1, 2020
- Commission on Human Rights, Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the alleged military killing of three Lumad in Lianga, Surigao del Sur, June 18, 2021
- Commission on Human Rights, Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the killing of an NDFP consultant and a peasant organizer in Negros Occidental, Dec. 7, 2022
Philstar.com, CHR to investigate truth behind massacre of allegedly red-tagged family in Negros Occidental, June 17, 2023
Inquirer.net, CHR probes killing of family of four in Negros Occidental, June 19, 2023
Philippine Collegian, Red-tagged Peasant Family Slain in Negros, June 18, 2023
Commission on Human Rights, Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the slain family in Negros, June 17, 2023
- Commission on Human Rights, Bombing of lumad schools against int’l humanitarian law, Aug. 11, 2017
- Commission on Human Rights, Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline de Guia, in observance of the International Humanitarian Law Month, Aug. 12, 2020
- Commission on Human Rights, Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, urging State and non-State parties to respect international humanitarian law, Jan. 15, 2021
- United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Applicable International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Framework, Jan. 1, 2011
(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)