By Joseph Gregorio
The Cordillera Peoples Democratic Front (CPDF) accused the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) of lying when they alleged the New People’s Army (NPA) used an unmanned improvised explosive device (IED) in their April 2 clash that killed a policeman and wounded nine others at Cabunagan, Poblacion, Tadian, Mountain Province.
“Accustomed to releasing fake news, it is not farfetched for these spinmasters to concoct a preposterous story to downgrade their defeat. They simply cannot accept that even with their superior manpower and weaponry, they are still defeated by the NPA,” CPDF Spokes person Simon “Ka Filiw” Naogsan said.
Naogsan said the AFP and the PNP vainly conjured a scenario to accuse the NPA of violating the Ottawa Treaty on the employment of unmanned IED that explodes when subjected to pressure or extreme heat.
“The NPA has long adhered to the Ottawa Treaty through banning the use of landmines in its operations and has been employing command-detonated explosives instead,” Naogsan said.
“The AFP and the PNP further show their ignorance as they do not know how to differentiate a command-detonated explosive from an unmanned landmine,” he added.
Government forces, through statements and social media posts, alleged the NPA used unmanned IEDs and landmines in their clash last Tuesday, their third fire fight with the communist guerrillas within a week.
“International humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions have outlawed the use of landmines in warfare because of the risk of civilian casualties or collateral damage,” Police Regional office Cordillera (PROCor) Chief PBGen Israel Ephraim Dickson said.
But Leonardo Pacsi Command-NPA-Mountain Province spokesperson Magno Udyaw said their troops only used a command detonated device, exploded by an operator upon the order of the unit commander when government soldiers have entered the designated killing zone.
Udyaw clarified that there was no forest fire on the blast site at the time of the clash, adding they are not stupid to start a forest fire that can limit their combat manoeuvres. #