1 soldier dies, 5 troopers hurt as NPA mine blast in Samar

A soldier died and five others were hurt who were on a community support program that was supposed to bring development to a remote barangay in
an anti-personnel mine allegedly planted by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels exploded in Catubig, Northern Samar on Tuesday, July 19.
According to 2nd Lt. Joyce Ann Bayron, spokesperson of the 20th Infantry Battalion (20IB), the troops were conducting combat patrol while on a CSP mission in Barangay Osang when the explosion occurred around 9:25 a.m.
The casualties were immediately transferred to Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center for appropriate medical attention but one of them eventually died.
The identities of the troopers were withheld pending notice to their respective families.
Barangay Osang is one of the six villages in Northern Samar that were selected to be recipients of the Barangay Development Program (BDP), the flagship project of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) according to Bayron.
The village is set to receive P20 million that shall be used for the establishment of various infrastructure projects such as farm-to-market roads, schools, health units, water and sanitation systems, electrification, and livelihood programs to usher in development to the community.
One of the conditions to be a qualified recipient of the BDP is that the community must be free from insurgency, which is now clearly not the case for Barangay Osang.
“Communist NPA terrorists returned in an attempt to recover their lost mass base,” Bayron said.
Lt. Col. Joemar Buban, 20IB commanding officer, slammed the communist group’s use of anti-personnel landmines which, he noted, was a violation of the Ottawa Convention and the International Humanitarian Law.
The Ottawa Convention prohibits the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of anti-personnel mines since these are deemed “indiscriminate and inhumane weapons,” and “violate the basic elements” of the International Humanitarian Law.
“We are calling on the Commission on Human Rights to investigate and make a statement on these continuous inexcusable violations of Ottawa Convention, International Humanitarian Law, and RA [Republic Act] 9851 [Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity] by communist NPA terrorists in Northern Samar,” Buban said.
The CHR is mandated by the law to conduct investigations on human rights violations against marginalized and vulnerable sectors of the society.
The explosion happened two weeks after suspected NPA rebels detonated anti-personnel mines in Brgy. Magsaysay, Mapanas, Northern Samar on July 5 which wounded seven soldiers. Last April 3, suspected communist rebels also used anti-personnel mines against security forces in Brgy. San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern Samar which killed two policemen and four soldiers.

That is so dangerous. I did not know you have this in your country.

A lot of crimes in your country. Hope you are safe.