Issue of April 14, 2019
Mt. Province

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‘NPA uses CDX, not IEDs in MP clash’
by Harley F. Palangchao

The Leonardo Pacsi Command (LPC) of the New Peoples’ Army belied the government’s allegations that it has used improvised explosive devices (IED) in the tactical offensives during a series of firefights in Mountain Province recently.

Ka Magno Udyaw, LPC’s spokesman, said in a statement that what the rebels are using in its ambush operations are command-denoted explosive devices (CDX).

In contrast to IED, CDX are manually detonated or controlled. Udyaw said CDX are mounted only on designated killing zones and will not explode even when stepped on or kicked upon by anyone.

International laws prohibit the use of IEDs such as landmines since these explode when stepped upon by anyone.

“The NPA only use CDX and these are properly connected on manual blasting machines and that the Red fighters ensure that these explode only when the targets are already inside the designated killing zones. These are carefully manufactured by ordnance units of the NPA and are ensured that they don’t damage nor cause accidents to civilians. Likewise, these are not irresponsibly left and scattered,” Udyaw said in a statement furnished to journalists.

The statement came following reports that Police Corporal Marlon Casil was killed while eight other policemen were wounded due to IED planted by retreating NPA rebels during a firefight in Tadian, Mountain Province.

The NPA clarified that the Ottawa Treaty does not prohibit the use of command-detonated anti-personnel, anti-vehicle, and anti-tank landmine but the same treaty prohibits the use of target-detonated anti-personal landslides or explosives that are purposely designed to explode when stepped on or tapped.

“The CPP and NPA strictly adhere to the Rules of War and International Humanitarian Law. They comply with the high standards of the international humanitarian laws in carrying out armed struggle for national liberation. This is manifested on their formal and official conformity to the Geneva Conventions and 1977 Protocol, likewise on forging an accord with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines on creating the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law,” the NPA statement added.

The Police Regional Office-Cordillera, meanwhile, reported that three barangays in Tadian were alerted regarding possible contamination of their potable water system after two NPA camps were found to have been established at the water source area. 

Police reported that dirty bandages, medical waste, and other detritus were scattered right next to the water reservoir and intake tank of their water system. 

It again claimed that poisonous ingredients for IEDs along with finished products such as grenades and claymore mines were also discovered. 

At risk are the water systems of Duagan, Sumadel, and Nabitic. However, the Tadian Municipal Health Office must have to wait for clearing operations to be terminated before it can address water contamination in said barangays. 

The residents of Bagnen also raised the same problem in Bauko, where the water source was also contaminated not long before the encounter between the government forces and the NPA rebels happened.

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