Duterte raps rebels for landmine blasts

DAVAO CITY -- Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he condemns the landmine attack against 12 soldiers and five civilians in Bansalan town last Sunday and he wants to hear from the New People’s Army (NPA) about the incident.

“Wala gyud ni tubaga sa NPA (The NPA has not yet issued any word) and I’d like to know nganong nagagamit sila’g landmine (why did they use a landmine). I’d like to hear from the NPA, mag-issue ba sila’g statement or if they would like, I’d go to them,” Duterte said.

The first landmine explosion occurred around 11:18 a.m. at Sitio Balutakay in Barangay Managa, Bansalan, while the 39th Infantry Battalion troops encountered the NPA rebels. At least 12 soldiers were wounded in the attack.

The NPA then set off another landmine as three ambulances of Davao del Sur Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), Philippine Red Cross-Davao del Sur Chapter, and 39th IB were heading to evacuate the injured troops.

“If the government violates the Geneva Convention, I warn them. If the rebels also violate the Articles of War or the Geneva Convention, I also warn them,” Duterte said.

He said the use of landmine, which he described as a weapon of terrorism, is disturbing.

Duterte said he wants to speak with the rebels because the explosion has been a repeated event for a long time now.

Philippine Army's 1002nd Brigade commander Colonel Marcos Norman Flores Jr. earlier said they are set to file charges for frustrated murder under Revised Penal Code and violation of the International Humanitarian Law against the rebels this week.

"We are now coordinating with the members of the PNP (Philippine National Police) for us to file the charges against Menandro Villanueva and Roberto Rosete and their comrades who were responsible of the attack," Flores said. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)
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