Press Release
November 2, 2009

In times of dispute

In the unfortunate event of continuous armed conflict in Mindanao, Senator Edgardo J. Angara accentuated the government's move for a policy of amity, autonomy, justice, cooperation and peace.

"It is the government's responsibility to protect and prevent misuse of the emblem. The Red Cross and Red Crescent signify medical and humanitarian assistance. It is a recognized utility for protection conferred by the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols on medical personnel, medical units and transports in time of armed conflict," said Angara who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance.

"Protecting and preventing any type of misuse of the emblem illustrates our respect and value for a world-esteemed insignia of peace, help and medical reinforcement," he added.

On February 14, 1947, the Philippines declared its adherence to the 1864 Geneva Conventions. Just two months later, the country established the Philippine National Red Cross through RA 95 of 1947. After which, the Philippines joined 193 other nations that ratified the Four Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 with which it was ratified in the country in the year 1952.

SB 3244 or "The Red Cross and other Emblems Act" reaffirms the country's commitment in upholding the correct and proper usage of Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Crystal Emblems in protecting humanitarian workers, vehicles, facilities especially in times of war and other violent situations.

In the bill, the following provisions were made:

Defining the emblems' use:

Protective Use - The emblem used as a protective device during armed conflict is the visible sign of the protection conferred by the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols on medical personnel and medical units and transports in time of armed conflict.

Indicative Use - The emblem shows that a person or an object is linked to an institution of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

Moreover, according to the bill any form of misuse of the Red Cross, the Red Crescent or the Red Crystal emblem as an Indicative Device in Peacetime and In Time of Armed Conflict is penalized.

"Human life and its safety should always be prioritized. We should be committed to facilitate in the protection of the symbol for refuge and the principles of peace and concern for the community especially in times of armed conflict," said Angara.

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