In line with its continuing peace and security mission, the Eastern Mindanao Command announced Friday the recovery of 163 pieces of landmines during operations in Loreto town, Agusan del Sur last Wednesday.
Also recovered was a generator set, Capt. Alberto Caber, the unit’s spokesperson, told the Philippines News Agency (PNA).
He added that residents in Sitio Mapait, Barangay Kauswagan in Loreto town, showed them the place where the New People’s Army (NPA) manufactured and stored the explosives.
“We do not want the NPA, they bring us more sufferings in our families here. We want a peaceful barangay for our families,” Caber quoted a civilian informant as saying.
Since 2010, a total of 453 NPA landmines have exploded in the countryside, killing 128 people, wounding 325 others and destroyed countless properties and government facilities in Eastern Mindanao.
Caber said that landmines, once detonated, indiscriminately wound or kill anyone, combatants or not.
He said the use of landmines has long been banned under the provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
Eastern Mindanao Command head, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier G. Cruz III, commended the civilians for reporting the location of the NPA landmine factory and the planted landmines in their village.
“This is the biggest NPA landmine factory discovered so far. Indeed, the timely recovery of NPA landmines by our troops saved lives of the public. The NDF wants to talk peace with the government. However, they still continue to manufacture weapon of mass destruction. It is clear that the NDF are not really sincere about peace after all. Your AFP-PNP will continue to safeguard the people from NPA extortion, deception and intimidation,” Cruz said. PNA