FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – The Philippine Army joins the nation in commemorating the 65th celebration of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Month with this year’s celebration to be hosted by the Department of National Defense (DND) bringing with the theme: “Proteksyon at Pagbibigay Kakayahan sa mga Taong nasa Gitna ng Armadong Labanan”.
In a simple flag raising ceremony held at Headquarters Philippine Army (HPA) Flagpole early today, Army soldiers headed by Army Vice Chief Maj Gen Romulo M Cabantac Jr took their oath on the AFP soldiers’ pledge of reaffirmation of commitment and support to IHL.
Colonel Perfecto M Rimando Jr, Chief of the Army Human Rights Office spearheaded the reading of Reaffirmations of Oath.
In his message, Maj Gen Cabantac said, “Once again, our institution affirms its commitment to proper conduct of soldiers during operations. The Army also continues to uphold its practice of clear command responsibility in times of war and to the humane treatment of combatants and non-combatants alike in times of armed conflicts”.
“Thus, in recognition of this, the operations, tactics, techniques, and procedures of the AFP have been continuously guided by the IPSP strategic imperative of Adherence to Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law, and the Rule of Law”.
“This celebration is a renewed call to all members of the force to live up to the deeper meaning of our core purpose to serve the people and secure the land. As we continue to live up to our pledge to protect the lives and freedom of our fellow citizens, we are also encouraged to be keenly aware of the effects of conflicts, especially to non-combatants. Respect for the rights of these people should be upheld at all times” Cabantac added.
In the 65th year of celebrating International Humanitarian Law, each member of the Philippine Army is called to remain true to its commitment to the principles of the International Humanitarian Law. The faithfulness of the Army to the letter and spirit of IHL will become an enduring legacy that will define the institution as a world-class organization that is the source of national pride.
Meanwhile, Philippine Army units nationwide have also conducted simultaneous Flag Raising Ceremony today highlighted by the Oath-taking by all personnel on “AFP soldiers’ pledge of reaffirmation of commitment and support to IHL.
(Photos by Pfc Noel Damot)