Use of CDEx in Mapanas ambush legitimate, says NDF-EV

This article is available in Waray

The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas said the use of command-detonated explosives (CDEx) in an ambush by the New People’s Army in Mapanas, Northern Samar yesterday is legitimate and does not violate international rules on the conduct of war.

This is in response to 8th Infantry Division commander Major General Edgardo de Leon’s statement that the Red fighters’ use of CDEx allegedly violated the Ottawa Treaty and other international conventions. The 803rd Infantry Brigade even hypocritically called for an investigation into the ambush by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

The NDF-EV called out de Leon for again resorting to bringing up the non-issue of the NPA’s use of CDEx in a desperate attempt to downplay their resounding defeat against the people’s army.

“We have said this before and we will say it again. The use of CDEx, which only explodes on command and targets with precision against armed adversaries, is not prohibited by the Ottawa Treaty or international law. That the Mapanas ambush wounded soldiers of the 20th IB speaks well that the Red fighters’ use of CDEx was precisely directed against armed troops of the AFP who were conducting combat operations,” Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas, NDF-EV spokesperson, refuted.

“The ambush adds to the NPA’s long record of giving first priority to the safety and well-being of civilians in the conduct of its offensives,” he added.

In response to the prompting of the 803rd IBde for the CHR to investigate on the Mapanas ambush, Fr. Salas said it is not within the CHR’s jurisdiction to investigate on the NPA as per the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, a binding agreement between the NDFP and the reactionary government.

Fr. Salas said revolutionary forces exercise careful determination of their armed targets in stark contrast to the AFP’s monstrous counterinsurgency operations that employ indiscriminate aerial bombardment and artillery shelling which blur the distinction between their armed adversaries and the civilians. The AFP’s terrorist bombing endangers civilian lives, massively destroys their livelihood and sources of food, and traumatizes entire peasant communities.

“The AFP is attempting to cover up their successive military losses and hide from embarrassment after they declared that barangays in the Pacific area of Northern Samar have been ‘cleared’ of the NPA. The public must be vigilant in AFP’s efforts to mislead and confuse the masses, spin lies, and distract the public from their own rights violations, war crimes, and terrorist attacks against the people,” Fr. Salas ended.

Use of CDEx in Mapanas ambush legitimate, says NDF-EV