NPA-EV to CHR: Explosives in Eastern Samar ambush were command-detonated, targeted against active-duty paramilitaries

Read in: Waray

The New People’s Army (NPA) in Eastern Visayas today assured the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) that the command-detonated explosives (CDX) used by the NPA in its ambush in Jipapad, Eastern Samar are permitted by international humanitarian law and were used against paramilitary agents who were on duty.

Ka Karlos Manuel of the Efren Martires Command (NPA-EMC) responded to the statement by CHR Deputy Secretary Marc Louis Siapno condemning the military action last July 7 which killed a sergeant of the 52nd Infantry Battalion and four elements of the Civilian Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU.)

Manuel clarified, “The Red fighters triggered the three CDX only upon seeing enemy troops enter the killing zone which was several meters away from the military detachment. The CDX were not contact-detonated or victim-activated, and are thus not banned by the 1997 Ottawa Treaty.”

The NPA-EMC spokesperson added that the NPA does not indiscriminately place landmines but studies enemy movements up to several months before a tactical offensive to ensure the utmost precision in attacking its adversaries, which include active-duty paramilitaries such as CAFGU elements.

“Until the day before the ambush, the CAFGU elements together with their controller from the 52nd IB have been going in and out of their military detachment while armed with high-powered rifles. On the day of the NPA offensive, they were armed with pistols and remained legitimate targets of the NPA. They were part of the enemy troops conducting combat-intelligence-psywar operations in at least five towns in the northern part of Eastern Samar,” Manuel said.

Manuel meanwhile chided 8th Infantry Division (ID) commander Maj. Gen. Pio Diñoso III for paying lip service to human rights and resorting to dirty propaganda. “After suffering consecutive losses against the NPA, Diñoso resorts to whining and spouting hogwash as the “surgical” airstrikes, cannons and machine guns of the 8th ID fail to hit the NPA but disregard the safety of nearby civilian communities.”

Manuel thus urged the CHR to investigate the recent cases of artillery shelling, indiscriminate firing, illegal searches and arbitrary detention committed by troops of the 8th ID, particularly in peasant communities in Catubig and Las Navas in Northern Samar.

“The NPA assures the people that it will continue to strive for revolutionary justice and launch tactical offensives to punish the worst criminals among the armed forces of the Duterte regime, carry forward the armed struggle, and bring down Duterte’s tyrannical reign,” Manuel ended.#

NPA-EV to CHR: Explosives in Eastern Samar ambush were command-detonated, targeted against active-duty paramilitaries