National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) president Edre Olalia reminded the military to observe local and international laws in respecting the remains of enemy combatants.
“On top of these commands under international humanitarian law,
at core is basic human decency, respect and civility that is at issue here,” he said in his,” he stated over social media.
“There are universal laws that civilized people observe even if there are, because of, or in spite of armed hostilities,” he pointed out.
Olalia, transitional president of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), gave the reminder to the military after the Philippine Army posted online a photo of the remains of Jevilyn Campos Cullamar, 22, the daughter of Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Eufemia Cullamat.
Following Jevilyn’s death during a military encounter, the Army posted her photo along with weapons found while soldiers posed in the background holding seized banner.
Olalia reminded that in 1998 the government signed with the National Democratic Front of thje Philippines (NDFP) the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Human Law (CARHRIHL) which contains provisions which states “desecration of the remains of those who have died in the course of the armed conflict or while under detention, and breach of duty to tender immediately such remains to their families or to give them decent burial.”
The same agreement also provides that: “Every possible measure shall be taken, without delay, to search for and collect the wounded, sick and missing persons and to protect them from any harm and ill treatment, to ensure their adequate care and to search for the dead, prevent despoliation and mutilation and to dispose of them with respect.”
Olalia reminded that similar provisions can be found in the 1949 Geneva Convention IV Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 1977 Additional Protocol I on International Armed Conflicts, and 1998 Statute of the International Criminal Court.