Army discards 77 IHL prohibited landmines seized from CTGs

The 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division through the 10th Forward Service Support Unit (10FSSU) successfully disposed the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) seized from the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) or commonly known as the CPP-NPA-NDF at Brgy Tignapoloan, Cagayan de Oro City.

77 assorted IEDs purposely made as anti-personnel landmines (APM) were safely disposed thru detonation by the 10th Forward Service Support Unit (10FSSU) under LtCol Vladimir DC Sta. Maria, the Commanding Officer. The 10FSSU was assisted by personnel from 2nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Platoon, 2nd EOD Company of the EOD Battalion of the Army Support Command (ASCOM).

LtCol Sta Maria said that the disposal operation was successfully conducted with all safety protocols followed. “The biggest of the IEDs is a 20-liter container sized explosive device that could have easily killed or injured innocent civilians had it not been captured by the government troops”.

Maj Gen Romeo S Brawner Jr, Commander of the 4ID, said that the IEDs/APMs seized or captured from the CTG by the Battalions of the 4ID will be continuously disposed.

MGen Brawner Jr added that the recent disposal of the APMs is made to ensure that it will not be used anymore since it is strictly prohibited and a clear violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and the Ottawa Treaty.

Under the Ottawa treaty or the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine (APM) Ban Convention, the use of landmine is prohibited. It prohibits the production, stockpiling, transfer, and use of APMs to ensure the implementation of humanitarian rules restricting armed violence.

“The continued production and use of APMs and other types of IEDs by the CPP-NPA-NDF proved that they have no regard on the value of human life and the sacredness of a human body as its use as a method to defeat an adversary is inhumane and unnecessary”, MGen Brawner Jr said.

“We call on the CTG to stop using APMs and other IEDs that puts our people in grave danger. While your Army continuously assures commitment to strictly adhere to the IHL, we implore the CTG to abide and respect the IHL and the laws of armed conflict or else we will ensure that they will be held accountable and be brought to justice”, MGen Brawner Jr added.

The IHL is a set of rules that limit the effects of armed conflict and protect civilians who are not participating in the hostilities. It also restricts the means and methods of warfare.

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