Practice Relating to Rule 142. Instruction in International Humanitarian Law within Armed Forces
Section B. Obligation of commanders to instruct the armed forces under their command
The Joint Circular on Adherence to IHL and Human Rights (1991) of the Philippines provides:
Commanders shall ensure that all participants in security/police operations shall be briefed and de-briefed before and after every operation to insure proper behavior of personnel and understanding of their mission.
The Circular adds:
Commanders shall ensure that … pertinent provisions of … the Geneva Conventions and United Nations declarations on Humanitarian Law and Human Rights … are understood by every member of the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] and PNP [Philippine National Police] personnel.
The Philippines’ AFP Standing Rules of Engagement (2005) states:
a. This document promulgates the Standing Rules of Engagement for the Armed Forces of the Philippines [AFP].
c. … it will provide a common basis for training and planning capabilities. Thus, this document is also authorized for distribution to commanders at all levels and is to be used as fundamental guidance for training and directing their forces.
d. AFP units will comply with the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) during military operations, no matter how the conflict may be characterized under international law, and will comply with its principles and spirit during all other operations.
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) provides:
While not in combat:
1. Have a strong and effective military values’ education among your troops. The guide on how to prevent HR/IHL [Human Rights/International Humanitarian Law] violations is only the immediate and temporary solution to the problem. The best solution is the character-building among soldiers.
2. Include IHL/HR education in your TI&Es [Troop Information and Education]. Spend time for HR/IHL issues/questions and discussions in your TI&Es. Most HR violations are results of ignorance of the law.
8. Inform the troops that a child taken in custody by government forces in an area of armed conflict should be informed of his/her constitutional rights and shall be treated humanely. Some of [these] basic rights are “the right to remain silent”, “the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty”, “the right to be notified of the charge,” “right to counsel”, “right to presence of parents or guardian”, and the “right to confront and cross examine witnesses.”
During combat operation:
2. Always remind your men to respect human rights
. Before you start the combat operations, always remind your men to respect HR of the civilian populace and the enemy. Respecting HR does not make you less a fighter and a soldier.
Commanders shall ensure that all participants in security operations shall be briefed and debriefed before and after every operation to insure proper behavior of personnel and understanding of their mission as well as to assess the overall impact of the operation to [the] AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] goals and objectives.