AFP official condemns NPAs for continuously using landmines (PHILIPPINES)

ZAMBOANGA CITY : A top military official has condemned the New People's Army (NPA) for its continued use of landmines as "it shows the NPA's inherent disregard to laws and international conventions banning the use of landmine in whatever form."


Maj. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu, chief of the Army's 10th Infantry Division, said the use of landmine has long been banned by every civilized nation and all entities whether state or none state actors are bound to respect it as enshrined in the Ottawa Convention.

Mapagu noted that two landmines planted by the NPAs exploded last Monday when the government forces are pursuing a group of NPA rebels that robbed an eatery and took a civilian hostage in the town of Quezon, Bukidnon.The NPAs released the hostage when they escaped.

One of the landmines exploded prematurely when the responding policemen are conducting an on-site investigation following the robbery at the eatery.Fortunately no one among the responding government forces were either killed or injured on the two landmine explosions.Mapagu said that Leoncio Pitao, alias Ka Parago, a notorious NPA leader even issued a statement boasting their latest landmines planted along road networks to explode anytime.

Mapagu said the NPAs had been using landmines and doing such barbaric acts with impunity and total disregard to human lives.
"The NPAs clearly do not respect the International Humanitarian Law and the International Convention on Armed Conflict,"Mapagu said.

He said the Ottawa convention is the "mine ban treaty on the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and their destruction.""This (Ottawa convention) is to put an end to the suffering and casualties caused by anti-
personnel mines that kill or maim hundreds of people every week mostly, innocent and defenseless civilians and especially children, obstruct economic development and reconstruction, inhibit the repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons, and
have other severe consequences for years after emplacement," Mapagu cited the Ottawa

(c) 2009 Asia Pulse Pty Limited

Von: MANILA, 21 August 2009 (PNA (Philippines News Agency))

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