Military to sue NPA members for Davao mine attack

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Monday, March 3, 2014


CASES of frustrated murder and violation to the International Humanitarian Law will be filed against New People's Army (NPA) rebels responsible for planting of improvised explosive devices (IED) in a Davao del Sur town, a military official said Monday.

In a phone interview, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) human rights division chief Colonel Sonny Tutaan said cases will be filed against alleged NPA members Menandro Villanueva (alias Nelson) and Roberto Rosete (alias Bobby), after the IED they have planted in Banlasan Town in Davao del Sur have exploded on Sunday evening, causing injuries to five civilian volunteers of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC).

Tutaan said Villanueva and Rosete, both officials of the NPA group belonging to Guerilla Front 51 Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC), ordered their members to plant the landmines.

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"Though may kasamang soldiers 'yung convoy, it does not mean na it's for combat operation. May ipi-pick-up lang sila na mga iba pang sundalo sa isang encounter site, kaya 'yung ginawa nila na 'yun labag talaga sa batas at agreement," he said.

On Sunday night, a convoy of ambulances from Davao Del Sur PDRRMC, Red Cross Davao del Sur Chapter and 39th Infantry Battalion (39IB) was hit by the landmine planted by the NPA rebels.

The convoy was supposed to evacuate the military personnel who were wounded in an encounter with an undetermined number of NPA rebels in Barangay Managa, Bansalan town.

Tutaan identified the wounded civilians as Henaro Dumayas, Alberto Cabual Jr, Arnel Valeroso, Ivan Malingo and Bonita Dela Cruz.

Dumayas, who sustained wounds at the left forearm, left thigh and inferior side of the head, and Cabual, who was wounded at his left arm, are in critical condition in Digos Doctors Hospital, while the other three suffered minor wounds.

The ambulance of Davao del Sur PDRRMC was also heavily damaged from the explosion.

Tutaan said it is clearly stated in the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, to which the NPA is one of the signatories, that the use of IED's as landmines is prohibited to prevent damages to civilians.

"The AFP condemns this desperate attack by the NPAs who continue to sow violence in rural areas in the country. The NPA’s use of IEDs as landmines which endangers the lives, as well as sow terror, to civilians in the immediate area of attack," he said.

Villanueva and Rosete remain at large. (Sunnex)

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