[In the news] AFP challenges Human Rights Watch to prove claims – PhilStar.com
AFP challenges Human Rights Watch to prove claims
By Alexis Romero, The Philippine Star
January 25, 2012
MANILA, Philippines – The military yesterday challenged the New York-based Human Rights Watch to prove that soldiers were involved in unexplained killings.
Armed Forces spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said the group, which had criticized the Aquino administration for its alleged failure to address abuses, should present evidence to the military so they could act on the complaints.
“Human Rights Watch should coordinate directly with us. Give us evidence to support their claim that we committed human rights violations,” Burgos said.
Burgos claimed that the military has posted gains in promoting respect for human rights and adherence to International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
He said the strengthening of the Armed Forces Human Rights Office and its replication to field units has enabled them to ensure compliance with existing polices.
“In fact, the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) had already achieved milestones in human rights advocacy efforts with the publication of the soldiers’ handbook on human rights and IHL,” Burgos said.
He said the AFP even released a guidebook on ways to conduct intelligence operations without violating human rights.
On Monday, Human Rights Watch criticized the Aquino administration for supposedly failing to prosecute members of security forces tagged in unexplained killings.
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