Thursday, March 01, 2012

Army reminds the NPA about the signed agreement

In this file photo taken in 2010,  Col Cirilito Sobejana, the  Commanding Officer of the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion, engages the public to explain the disastrous effect of landmine explosion.  The improvised landmines were confiscated from the NPA bandits after an encounter with the Scout Rangers in Sorsogon Province. (Photo by S7, 3SRB)

FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – After a twin landmine explosions that claimed the lives of two soldiers about two days ago, the Philippine Army reminded the CPP-NPA-NDF (CNN) about the treaty that it signed with the government that bans the use of landmines.
Major Harold M Cabunoc, the Army Spokesperson, said that the Army has done its part by stopping the use of  anti-personnel mines since the mid 1990s.
“In view of the fact that the CNN had also signed this agreement, it is now their turn to order their armed components to stop the use of landmines in its attack against government forces,” said Cabunoc.
The Army has deplored the rampant use of the banned landmines by the NPA rebels, which is a violation to the laws of armed conflict.

Aside from committing a criminal offense as described in the newly enacted law (RA 9851), the use of landmines clearly violates the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) which was signed by the GRP and the NDF panels.

Non-combat mission

Cabunoc said that the soldiers who were ambushed by the rebels in Eastern Samar last February 27 were not even in combat mission.

“They were there to secure confiscated illegally-mined chromites as requested by the Regional Trial Court Branch III of Guiuan town in coordination with the local government in the area,” added Cabunoc.
Expounding the other roles played by the Armed Forces, Cabunoc said, “Our soldiers are also providing help in protecting our environment and its vast natural resources in support to the efforts of other agencies like the DENR and the LGUs”
Early this year, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Eastern Visayas has recommended the suspension of small-scale mining permits in Eastern Samar in order to put a stop to the proliferation of illegal small mining activities in the province.
Chromite is one of the minerals that contain chromium, one of the modern industry’s most essential and versatile elements. This mineral has a wide range of uses in metallurgical, chemical, and refractory industries. It s used to produce stainless steel and nonferrous alloys.
“With the recent attack against our soldiers, I suspect that the rebels are protecting those who are into illegal mining,” Cabunoc further said.
It can be recalled that four landmines exploded in Brgy. Antipolo, Llorante, Eastern Samar targeting a 13-member squad of the 43rd Infantry Battalion on February 27 at about 8pm.
Hours before said landmine attack, an improvised bomb that was planted by NPA rebels also exploded as soldiers passed by in a remote village in Compostela Valley province.
The twin explosions resulted to the death of two soldiers and the wounding of 11 others.

Nobody from the human rights groups came forward to condemn the continuous employment of the banned landmines by the CPP-NPA-NDF.

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