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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, October 5, 2019
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Army slams mines stockpiling


Army Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of the Joint Task Force Negros, yesterday blasted the New People’s Army in Negros for their continued stockpiling and use of anti-personnel mines, which is prohibited by the International Humanitarian Law (IHL), and a clear violation of the Ottawa Treaty, also known as the “Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention”.

The estimated 20 NPA rebels encountered by patrolling soldiers of the 94th Infantry Battalion on Thursday in Brgy. Bantulinao, Manjuyod, Negros Oriental, left behind an anti-personnel mine with electrical wiring and other war materials, while fleeing from the gunbattle site.

“The recoveries affirmed our previous pronouncement that CPP-NPA terrorists are the true human rights violators in Negros who disregard the sanctity of life, Vinoya said. He also deplored their continued production and use of anti-personnel mines that can destroy a greater number of innocent lives.

In several armed skirmishes with rebels in central and northern Negros, some Army soldiers were hit by shrapnel of exploded anti-personnel mines.

In June this year, five anti-personnel mines were also recovered by Army soldiers, following an encounter with NPA rebels in the same barangay.

Vinoya reiterated his call to the remaining members and leaders of the CPP-NPA in Negros to surrender, while they still have time.

“We will not let you cast more violence and terror in Negros, thus, expect more intensive combat operations against your group. We are giving you just two options; surrender now, or suffer the full force of the JTF Negros,” he stressed.

Vinoya said the sporadic firefight between Army soldiers and communist rebels lasted for about 40 minutes, after which the NPA withdrew towards the northwest direction of the village, carrying their undetermined number of casualties.

He emphasized that the encounter is just a prelude to his previous warning against them, stressing that they will hunt and hit them very hard, if they will not surrender.*


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