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NPA in Northern Samar use anti-personnel Mines Blatantly disregard IHL

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Six members of the Army’s 20th Infantry “We Lead” Battalion (20IB) of the 8th Infantry “Stormtroopers” Division (8ID), Philippine Army were wounded while providing Peace and Development Program at Barangay Quirino, Las Navas, Northern Samar on December 18, 2022.

The Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) used Anti-Personnel Mines (APMs) against the Mobile Community Support and Sustainment Program (MCSSP) Teams of the 20IB while securing the water system project.

The Commanding Officer of 20IB, Lieutenant Colonel Joemat Buban said that Barangay Quirino is among the seven barangays in Las Navas, Northern Samar that are recipients of the Support to Barangay Development Program 2022 as part of the National Task Force-ELCAC Program. Barangay Quirino was also set to receive a Level II Water System Project after the groundbreaking ceremony at Brgy. Magsaysay on December 16, 2022.

“The 20IB has been doing its best to help the former conflict-affected barangays through our Mobile Community Support and Sustainment Program Teams to achieve long-lasting peace and sustainable development in Northern Samar.” Lt Col Buban said.

Lt Col Buban also calls on the Commission of Human Rights to investigate and make a statement on these continuous inexcusable violations of the Ottawa Convention, International Humanitarian Law, and RA9851 by communist NPA terrorists in Northern Samar.

Major General Camilo Ligayo, Commanding General of 8ID said ” The continued use of members of the terrorist NPAs of Anti-Personnel Mines that have been banned is a blatant disregard of international humanitarian law. For this, they deserve our highest level of condemnation.”

The CTGs once again made a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law in Northern Samar. It can be recalled that last April 03, the CNTs used Anti-Personnel Mines against CSP Teams of the 20IB at Barangay San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern Samar which resulted in the death of two PNP Personnel and injured four others. Another APM incident happened at Barangay Magsaysay, Mapanas, Northern Samar last July 05, wounding seven Army Personnel. Last July 19, a soldier was killed and five others were wounded after a Communist Terrorist attack using APMs in the remote Osang village in Catubig, Northern Samar. (VICTOR BALDEMOR RUIZ)

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