Camp Panacan, Davao City – Two soldiers were killed and five were wounded in an NPA landmine that exploded at Sitio Banban, Brgy Lumiad, Paquibato, Davao City at 2pm this afternoon.
The casualties were members of the 5th Scout Ranger Company who are part of the contingent that exhumed the cadaver of an NPA member believed to be liquidated by the ruthless Pulang Bagani Command 1 under Leoncio Pitao @ Parago. The identities of the fatalities are temporarily withheld pending notification of their families. The exhumation was conducted in the presence of his relatives and to ensure that a descent burial will be accorded to the slain NPA member. The troops carrying the cadaver were on their way to Paquibato proper when the incident happened.
MGEN REYNALDO B MAPAGU AFP, the Commander of 10th Infantry Division expressed his condolences to the family of the soldiers and the civilian whom they have exhumed and vowed to help the soldiers’ family to run after the perpetrators. “These people are heartless, they have been doing these barbaric acts with impunity and total disregard to human lives. 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. The NPAs clearly do not respect the International Humanitarian Law and the International Convention on Armed Conflict.” Mapagu added.
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 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” the Ottawa preamble states.
There were reports that the NPA bandits operating in Paquibato District have prepositioned landmines in more that 10 areas along the main road traversing in Paquibato. These landmines are ready for detonation once there is a target of opportunity of soldiers passing by. Task Force Davao is now verifying the said reports because this will endanger the civilians or non-combatants who are using the said road.
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