ILOILO CITY – The report of the US State Department on human rights abuses allegedly committed by the country’s government forces is a “direct assault on their reputation, integrity and honor”.
“Let it be known that your report does injustice to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Our heroes deserve respect and not the baseless accusations in your ill-prepared and poorly researched report,” said the statement of the Western Visayas Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF6-ELCAC) furnished to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday.
The RTF6- ELCAC, through its spokesperson Provincial Prosecutor 2 Flosemer Chris Gonzales, expressed its support for the statement of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza calling out the erroneous report that maligned government troops.
The report, according to Gonzales, was summarized in the very much adulterated, abused, and misused term "human rights abuses".
“These men and women in the armed services put their lives on the line, day in and day out. They spearhead humanitarian and disaster response efforts in times of calamities,” he said.
Gonzales added that the country’s state forces are at the frontline in campaigns to neutralize terrorist groups including the Islamic State (ISIS) extremists, Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
The US State Department seemed to be detached from the realities on the ground, he said.
“The one who made the report for you might have stayed in front of the computer screen while writing the erroneous report. Tell your researchers to go down on the ground with our troops so that you will know what we're doing here,” the spokesperson urged.
The 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released last week claimed that the US received “credible” information on the supposed human rights violations perpetrated by Philippine security forces. (PNA)