Practice Relating to Rule 52. Pillage
The Military Directive to Commanders (1988) of the Philippines tries “to protect troops from false charges of looting”, by requesting that civil relations groups immediately conduct a survey of the residents after a military operation, and make proper documentation, including witnesses’ statements, material and photographs.
The Soldier’s Rules (1989) of the Philippines instructs troops: “Respect other people’s property. Looting is prohibited.”
The Philippines’ AFP Standing Rules of Engagement (2005) states:
8. General Rules for the Correct Use of Force towards Mission Accomplishment
k. Commanders will instruct their personnel on the nature of their mission to include proper actuations and decorum. This stresses the importance of proper conduct and regard for the local population and the need to respect private property and public facilities and sensitivity to local/ethnic cultures.
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) provides:
During combat operation:
7. Bring your own provisions.
It is better not to buy chicken or any other animals from the civilian populace for food. Sometimes, even if a chicken is being paid for, the soldiers are the ones going after the fowl. This is not a good scenario because it may be interpreted negatively as it may suggest looting and pillaging. If you’re left with no choice, pay fairly for what you buy.
Under the Articles of War (1938) of the Philippines, it is an offence to abandon one’s post to plunder or pillage.
Under the War Crimes Trial Executive Order (1947) of the Philippines, applicable to acts committed during the Second World War, “plunder of public and private property” is a war crime.
The Philippines’ Act No. 2711 (1917) states: “Any member of the Constabulary who … quits his post or command to plunder or pillage, shall be fined not exceeding six thousand pesos or imprisoned not exceeding three years or both.”