Army denounce NPA’s continued use of landmines despite IHL ban

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BANCASI, Butuan City – The 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade denounced the CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNT) continued use of Anti-Personnel Mines even though the International Humanitarian Law and other international and local laws explicitly banned and prohibited its use after troops of 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion under the operational control of the 402nd Brigade discovered a CTG landmine cache at the far-flung areas of Brgy Maasin, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur on June 23, 2020.

Said discovery clearly manifested that the CNTs is continuously disrespecting and violating the regulations prohibiting the use of anti-personnel mines (APMs). This act can pose extreme danger to innocent civilians or even to government troops alike Since the start of the year, a total of thirty four (34) anti-personnel mines were recovered within the 402nd Brigade Area of Responsibility.

The recent discovery of the troops under 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion of the CNT explosive components cache composed of eleven (11) containers of Ammonium Nitrate, two (2) blasting caps and one (1) roll of firing wire that can produce more than sixty (60) Anti-Personnel Mines (APM), were proof that said group has been deliberately disregarding the International Humanitarian Law and has no regard on the safety of the civilians that might be hurt by these devices.

Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, 402nd Brigade Commander said, “The CNTs are placing these mines along the roads and areas where they thought government troops will pass. They did not think and consider that this roads or areas are also being used by innocent civilians that will surely become victims of their doing”.

Anti-personnel landmines are prohibited under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (or Mine Ban Convention), adopted in 1997. More than 150 countries have joined this treaty.

Similarly, the Ottawa Treaty, also known as the “Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention”, which took effect on March 1, 1999, prohibits the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of AP landmines. In the Philippine laws, APM is a violation of the Republic Act 9851 or “An Act Defining and Penalizing Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity, Organizing Jurisdiction, Designating Special Courts, and for Related Purposes.”

“We are saddened by the continued use of APMs by the CNTs. Even in conflict, we must also respect the laws governing its. It is sad that this group has no respect with the rules and regulation concerning the use of landmines at the expense of the innocent civilians. We call on the CNT to stop these inhumane tactics that jeopardizes the safety of our people,” BGen Licudine said.

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