Practice Relating to Rule 109. Search for, Collection and Evacuation of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked
The Military Directive to Commanders (1988) of the Philippines provides:
Medical teams must be made available to provide … evacuation to injured civilians caught in the crossfire …
Coordination and liaison with national and local government agencies should be pursued in undertaking the following immediate tasks after [the] conduct of operations … rescue, evacuation and hospitalization.
The Soldier’s Rules (1989) of the Philippines instructs soldiers to “care for the wounded and sick, be they friendly or foe”.
The Military Instructions (1989) of the Philippines provides:
In the aftermath of military or law enforcement operations involving a firefight that results in unavoidable casualties, caring for the wounded … must be a paramount concern of all commanders and troops at all levels … To increase their chances of survival, their immediate evacuation to the nearest clinic or hospital must be ensured.
The Joint Circular on Adherence to IHL and Human Rights (1991) of the Philippines provides that members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police must at the earliest possible opportunity turn the enemy hors de combat
(e.g. wounded, surrendered/captured) “over to higher echelons of command/office for proper disposition”.
The Guidelines on Evacuations adopted in 1991 by the Presidential Human Rights Committee of the Philippines provided: “Non-Government health workers … shall be permitted to go to evacuation centers to render medical/relief assistance to evacuees.”
According to the Report on the Practice of the Philippines:
In an armed conflict where guerilla warfare is the strategy used, distinguishing between civilians and combatants is very difficult. This is precisely the reason why the Philippines have adopted the same rules for both civilians and combatants with regard to the search for … the wounded [and] sick.