CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental (DWDD) – The 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division (4ID) commemorates the 69th International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Day during the flag raising ceremony yesterday, August 13, 2018 at Headquarters 4ID at Barangay Patag, Cagayan de Oro City.
This year’s IHL Day theme is Kaligtasan ng Mamamayan sa Panahon ng Digmaan, Sama-sama nating Pagtulungan.
During the flag raising ceremony, Brigadier General Tyne T Bañas, the Division Human Rights Officer and at the same time the Assistant Division Commander for Administration, led the 4ID troops’ Pledge of Reaffirmation of Commitment and Support to IHL.
“International Humanitarian Law is an imperative in our campaign against the enemies of the state. My stand on IHL was clear from the very start when I assumed my post as the Commander of this Division. I do not tolerate violators of IHL. We urge everyone to file a complaint to the nearest Army unit within your area if violations of IHL have been committed by our soldiers. We will immediately conduct investigation and will not hesitate to give corresponding sanctions if proven guilty.”, Major General Ronald Villanueva, Commander of 4ID said.
Moreover, the Department of National Defense Undersecretary Reynaldo Mapagu represented Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in reading the latter’s Message to 4ID troops. “The major challenge is on ensuring that IHL is respected in the midst of fighting. If IHL is not respected, how can we guarantee that civilians are spared in the effects of fighting and those who are falling to the hands of the enemy are treated humanely. Another challenge in the implementation of IHL is the fact that civilians are closer to hostilities than before. These days, the distinction by those who take direct part in hostilities part of the fighting are those becoming indistinguishable. Let me site an example, the recent Lamitan, Basilan car blast last July 31, certified these challenges. It was a clear violation of IHL committed by the terrorists, wherein innocent civilians, who are not involved in the hostilities were not spared in the effects of fighting. In such horrendous incident,10 people died and were killed, including a mother and her child. The Office of the President even branded it as an indiscriminate attack and a war crime. Basilan of course was an area of armed conflict. Under the IHL, attacks must be limited pursuant to military and military objectives and to military targets. Protected individuals especially civilians must be avoided.” Mapagu quoted.
The Philippine government institutionalized IHL Day in 1999 through Executive Order No. 134. Since then, we promoted the IHL consciousness not only to the uniformed personnel, but also on the civilian workers in government and our citizens as well. 4DPAO / MCAG