VIOLATIONS of international humanitarian law (IHL) by Philippine state forces allegedly happened recently in Negros Occidental, Bohol and Panay Island, adversely affecting over 300 civilians, the International Coalition for Human Rights Philippines (ICHRP) claimed on Thursday.

It said airstrikes were carried as ground forces of the 79th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army hunted New People’s Army rebels in the town of Escalante, Negros Occidental last Feb. 22.

The ICHRP condemned the use of attack helicopters that forced out the civilian population off in the village of Pinapugasan and pointed out that it was a blatant violation of the IHL.

Malacañang, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) did not immediately respond to Viber requests for comment.

In a separate statement, rights group Karapatan tagged the AFP’s Task Force Bohol and the army’s 47th Infantry Battalion in the alleged summary execution of five NPA members in Bilar town, Bohol on Feb. 23.

“In Panay island, an encounter between troops of the 61st IBPA and the NPA in the early morning of February 28, 2024 in a forested area of Barangay Torocadan, San Joaquin, Iloilo has been used by the military to launch artillery attacks at around 3 a.m., terrorizing the affected barangays,” the group added. — Chloe Mari A. Hufana