Philippine Army decries most recent NPA landmine explosion in Samar

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The Philippine Army has denounced the New People’s Army for detonating an anti-personnel mine (APM) in Pinabacdao, Samar, on Tuesday, which wounded a soldier and a militiaman.

The Army’s 8th Infantry Division commander, Maj. Gen. Edgardo De Leon, said in a statement on Wednesday that the incident demonstrates the NPA’s willful disregard for humanity’s safety and well-being.

According to the military official, their continued production, storage, and deployment of anti-personnel mines is a serious violation of the United Nations convention that prohibits the use of explosives to protect humans from their mutilating effects and suffering.

Around 8:26 AM on Tuesday, NPA members reportedly detonated an anti-personnel mine in Pelaon village, Pinabacdao town.

When the incident occurred, soldiers and members of the auxiliary force were on their way to a new detachment.

The new detachment was created in response to a request from the community’s leaders and people.

“The leaders of the National Democratic Front (NDF), which represented the NPA in past peace negotiations, should be held answerable for the continuing International Humanitarian Law violations of the NPA that they have been representing,” De Leon added.

To put an end to the gratuitous pain and desecration of the human body caused by the explosion of anti-personnel mines, the Ottawa Convention was signed on September 18, 1997.

The military warned that the communist terrorist group has been discarding explosives they put buried the path, causing huge risks to civilians, in addition to utilizing and stockpiling the forbidden anti-personnel mines.

In the year 2021, government troops in the Eastern Visayas have safely recovered 96 pieces of abandoned anti-personnel mines.

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