Practice Relating to Rule 132. Return of Displaced Persons
The Military Directive to Commanders (1988) of the Philippines provides: “Displaced persons and evacuees shall be allowed and/or persuaded to return to their homes as quickly as tactical considerations permit.”
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) provides:
After an engagement:
11. Allow the evacuees to return to their homes.
As soon as tactical considerations permit, the evacuees should be allowed to return to their homes.
The Philippines’ Executive Order No. 2 (2001), Creating an Interagency Committee for Relief, Rehabilitation and Development of Areas Affected by Armed Conflicts in Mindanao, states:
[T]he government [of the Philippines] is committed to ensure the safe return of families and individuals affected by armed conflicts to their communities of origin and assist them in rebuilding their shattered lives by addressing their basic needs.
The Guidelines on Evacuations adopted by the Presidential Human Rights Committee of the Philippines in 1991 provides: “Evacuees shall be returned to their houses at government expense as soon as the reason for evacuation ceases.”
The Guidelines on Evacuations adopted by the Presidential Human Rights Committee of the Philippines in 1991 provide: “Both the Government and Non-Government Organisations shall help in the rehabilitation of evacuees through socio-economic projects, skills formation and education.”
In 2002, in a speech during the 6th Asia Pacific-Middle East Regional Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the President of the Philippines noted:
We thank the Red Cross and the Red Crescent for your valuable assistance in the population movements caused by armed conflict.
I thank you, for instance, that the last of the evacuees of the recent war in Mindanao have gone home. And we thank you for making that easier. We have a ceasefire in place with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front [MILF] and the MILF has started to organize their own NGO that will undertake development projects and receive assistance.
In 2003, in a statement delivered in Dapitan city in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, the President of the Philippines stated: “We are prepared … to take the initiative in creating the environment for the peaceful return of the Pikit evacuees to their villages”.