AN ARMY soldier was killed while five others were injured in another landmine attack in Northern Samar province, the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division said Tuesday, July 19, 2022.
The troops from Community Support Program (CSP) teams of the 20th Infantry were conducting combat patrol in Barangay Osang, Catubig, Northern Samar when the blast hit them at around 9:25 a.m. Tuesday.
Second Lieutenant Joyce Ann Bayron, the acting 20IB spokesperson, said the wounded personnel were transported to the hospital for appropriate medical attention.
The Army has yet to disclose the names of the casualties.
Lieutenant Colonel Joemar Buban, commanding officer of 20IB, said the “terroristic attack” of the NPA rebels “is a clear violation of the Ottawa Convention (Mine Ban Treaty) that prohibits the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of anti-personnel landmines.”
"The 20IB has been doing its best to help the conflict-affected barangays through our CSP teams to achieve long-lasting peace and sustainable development in Northern Samar,” said Buban.
The army official also called on the Commission of Human Rights to investigate and issue a statement about the incident.
Barangay Osang is a recipient among six barangays in Northern Samar, which will receive P20 million worth of Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP) for the year 2021.
“This is a courtesy to our soldiers that worked hard to clear the barangay from NPA’s presence. However, communist NPA terrorists returned in an attempt to recover their lost mass base,” Bayron said.
“This is one of the reasons why the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police tied up to redeploy CSP teams in Barangay Osang and other conflict-affected barangays to ensure that the project implementation of SBDP will push through and not be put hampered by the NPA’s extortion and intimidation,” added Bayron in a statement.
The Army recalled that a landmine attack also happened on April 03, 2022, in Barangay San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern Samar, which killed two policemen and injured four other army and PNP personnel.
On July 5, 2022, seven army personnel were wounded in a landmine attack at Barangay Magsaysay, Mapanas, Northern Samar.
Eastern Visayas, particularly Samar Island, has remained a stronghold of the NPA , the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines that has been listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Australia, and the Philippines. (SunStar Philippines)