CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City — Troops of 75th Infantry Battalion operationally controlled by the 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army recovered the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Cache of the New People’s Army at the hinter-area of Sitio Mabog, Brgy San Roque, Bislig City, Surigao del Sur last July 16, 2014 at around 6:30 pm.
Location of the said IED cache was given by a concerned civilian to the Community Organizing for Peace and Development (COPD) team who are deployed in that area. This prompted Lt Colonel Danilo Benavides, Commanding Officer of 75IB to send troops to check the veracity of the said information.
“Delikado man gud sir kay duol sa among barangay og daghan ang mamatay pananglitan mobuto ang mga gehimo nilang landmines. Hugot namu ng ginakundinar ang ilang (NPAs) tataw nga pagpanglapas sa tawhanong katungod kay kaming mga sibilyan gihapon ang ilang himoong tigtuplok sa remote aron mobuto ang mga landmines pagmoagi ang sundalo. Dili pud mi makabalibad tungod kay mopatay man sila ug tawo. (Those landmines are hazardous especially that it is near our village. Many people will die if those landmines explode. We condemn these NPAs for their violation on human rights especially that they keep on using civilians who will trigger the landmines to explode whenever theArmy troops operates in the area. We cannot say no to them because they kill helpless civilians.)” Said by the concerned civilian who tipped the information (name is not given for security reason).
Recovered from the said area are: ten (10) liters container filled with super dyne explosives with blasting cap; one (1) TV picture tube filled with super dyne explosive weighing six (6) kilograms with blasting cap; one foot length PVC pipe number 4 filled with super dyne explosives with concrete nails attached; ten (1) meters detonating cord; twenty (20) meters electrical wire; and three (3) eveready batteries.
Ltc Benavides said, “This is a violation of Article 2, section 15 of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) which was agreed upon and signed last March 16, 1998 in The Hague, Netherlands by the GRP and NDFP. But they (NDFP) keep on violating this agreement. Using and manufacturing landmines is not allowed because these are indiscriminate in nature it means that when it explodes you cannot control the direction of its blasts that’s why it is dangerous especially to the people in those areas. We urge the Commission on Human Rights, KARAPATAN, and other human rights advocates groups to investigate on this violation committed by the New People’s Army.”
MGen Ricardo R Visaya, Commander of 4th Infantry Division said, “This implies that we are gaining grounds in our Internal Peace and Security Operations (IPSO) because the NPAs no longer have the support of the people in the communities. The people are already fed up with their countless lies and atrocities which pushed them to support the government in its peace advocacies. Your Army especially the 4th Infantry Division will continue its efforts or even double it to ensure lasting peace will reign in this side of Mindanao.”
(Press release from DPAO, 4ID, PA)