The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Davao City Chapter celebrated August as the International Humanitarian Law Month with a forum held last August 10 at the University of Mindanao audio visual room.
It had the theme “Pagrespeto sa IHL: Susi sa Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran” and it lasted for four hours.
The program started with the seven fundamental principles of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent presented by Red Cross Action Team-IHL Team Leader Ralfh Robar Bascon. These were the following: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality.
Secretary of the Board of Directors and IHL Committee Chairman Aileen Lourdes Lizada officially opened the program by acknowledging the safety that Davao experiences. But aside from that, she also acknowledged the recent bombing incidents in Mindanao and the presence of danger today.
“We still have a lot to do,” Lizada said.
Elcy Kieth Debilos, the IHL Disseminator President of the Chapter Youth Council PRC Davao City Chapter, then presented the three Emblems of Humanity recognized worldwide: the Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Crystal.
Debilos added that the use of the said emblems are protected under Republic Acts 10530 and 10072 and the Geneva Conventions. Those who can use it are the AFP Medical Services, Red Cross (in the Philippines), International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent.
The main topic of the event was discussed by the International Committee of the Red Cross Communication officer Albert Madrazo. Aside from introducing the IHL to everyone, he also discussed when the law applies, who it protects, how it protects and its difference from the International Human Rights Law.
Madrazo also emphasized that the IHL is a recognized universal code that aims to spare civilians and those deprived of liberty and sets limits on warfare weapons.
“Even wars have limits,” Madrazo said.
The forum was not entirely limited to talks from the speakers. Audio visual presentations were also utilized to show the history, functions and actions of the ICRC. Questions were also answered by the speakers.
In line with the celebration of the IHL month and the IHL Day on August 12, there would be a photo exhibit in the 2nd floor of SM Annex until August 15.