Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Brazen Disregard of Human Rights in Davao de Oro

MAWAB, Davao de Oro - Populace in Davao de Oro condemns the New People's Army (NPA) for using improvised explosive devices (IED) which are prohibited in the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

The 71st Infantry Battalion (71IB) recovered 3 IEDs in Sitio Bunglas, Brgy Cabuyoan, Mabini, Davao de Oro last September 21, 2020. Its location was divulged by a former NPA member who laid the mines with his group prior to his surrender to 71IB.

Each IED weighs around 7kg, enough to blow up a heavy vehicle or building in a split second once detonated.

The "to-whom-it-may-concern" explosive was buried along a utility road which could kill a number of people within its fatal radius once triggered.

The CARHRIHL clearly stipulates that the international human rights law should be applied to protect the rights of persons who do not take part in hostilities. However, the NPA laid the mines along the way of the locals of sitio bunglas to their farms.

The use of IED is also a violation of Republic Act (RA) 9851, An Act Defining and Penalizing Crimes Against Humanity especially on the Use of Weapons prohibited in Warfare such as Landmines.

Prohibited in the said act are "weapons, projectiles, materials and methods of warfare whichare of the nature to cause superflous injury or unnecessary suffering."

Locals in the said sitio were thankful to the 71IB for successfully removing the mines from their sitio while expressing condemnation to the NPA.

For the past months, former members of the underground mass organization all over davao de oro declared the CPP-NPA-NDF aa persona non grata and condemned them through peace rallies.

LTC Sonny Gonzales said the "NPA brazenly disregard the CARHRIHL and other related human rights laws by the continous use of IED."

It can be recalled that the 71IB recovered an IED together with 2 high powered fireams after an armed encounter last April.

The 71st IB intensifies its military operations to finally end local armed conflict in the municipalities of Mawab, Maco, Mabini, Pantukan, and 4 barangays of Nabunturan, all of Davao de Oro and Tagum City of Davao del Norte.

Source: Civil-Military Operations Office, 71st Infantry Battalion, 7th Infantry Division, PA

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