Landmines, explosives recovered in abandoned NPA camp
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - February 19, 2013 - 5:00pm

 

Two landmines and other explosive devices were recovered by soldiers in an abandoned communist camp in Northern Samar on Monday.

Cpt. Gene Orense, spokesman of the Army’s 8th division, said the explosives were recovered at about 1:05 p.m. in a rebel detachment located in Barangay Happy Valley in San Isidro town.

“The recovery of landmines is a clear and direct manifestation of the NPA’s (New People’s Army) wanton disregard to human life,” said Lt. Col. Noel Vestuir, chief of the 20th Infantry Battalion.

“The use of landmines is also a blatant violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and is already banned internationally since landmines cause unmitigated damages to life and property,” he added.

The military has discovered a total of nine abandoned rebel camps in Samar and Leyte since January. 

The military claims the use of landmines violates the 1997 Ottawa Convention and the amended Geneva Convention in 1998.

Communist rebels have claimed that their explosives are legitimate weapons of war and are allowed by existing international treaties.

They claimed that the landmines used by their fighters were command-detonated explosives and not pressure-triggered to ensure the safety of civilians. The NPA also claimed that the explosives are triggered on command and are only used on legitimate targets. 

The military said there are about 4,000 communist rebels in the country.

BARANGAY HAPPY VALLEY COMPREHENSIVE AGREEMENT GENE ORENSE GENEVA CONVENTION HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW INFANTRY BATTALION NEW PEOPLE NOEL VESTUIR NORTHERN SAMAR OTTAWA CONVENTION
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