BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 134
DECLARING AUGUST 12, 1999 AND EVERY 12TH DAY OF AUGUST THEREAFTER AS INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW DAY
WHEREAS, the Philippines adheres to the principles of human rights and humanitarian laws enshrined in international human rights treaties and instruments to which it is a State Party;
WHEREAS, human rights laws apply both in times of peace and during armed conflict, while International Humanitarian Law, or the laws of armed conflict, apply only during times of war or armed conflict;
WHEREAS, the Philippines, as a Contracting Party to the Four Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949: (1) Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field; (II) Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea; (III) Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War; and (IV) Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, and Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts which was acceded to by the country on 11 December 1986, subscribes to the basic principle of disinterested humanitarian aid to all victims of war and armed conflict without discrimination.
WHEREAS, in solidarity with the other Contracting Parties to the four Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II, the Philippines accepts direct responsibility for the application of international humanitarian law when involved in an armed conflict.
WHEREAS, the officials and personnel of government departments, law enforcement agencies, and local government units need to enhance their understanding of the principles of international humanitarian law in order to further strengthen their resolve to adhere to, promote and protect these principles;
WHEREAS, the commemoration of International Humanitarian Law Day will raise the people’s consciousness and promote greater awareness of the principles of International Humanitarian Law;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare August 12, 1999 and every 12th day of August thereafter as International Humanitarian Law Day.
All concerned departments and agencies of the government are enjoined to observe International Humanitarian Law Day and to actively support and participate in programs and activities to commemorate this Day.
The Department of National Defense and the Department of Foreign Affairs are hereby directed to co-chair an ad-hoc committee that will formulate and implement these yearly activities, in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross in Manila, the Philippine National Red Cross and the concerned non-government organizations and people’s organizations in the country.
The budget for these yearly activities shall be included in the annual appropriations of the Department of National Defense.
Done in the City of Manila, this 31st day of July, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and ninety-nine.
(Sgd.) JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA
President of the Philippines
By the President:
(Sgd.) RONALDO B. ZAMORA
Source: Presidential Management Staff
Office of the President of the Philippines. (1999). [Executive Order Nos. : 1 – 338]. Manila : Presidential Management Staff.