The New People’s Army (NPA), continues to use “child warriors” and anti-personnel mines (APM) – two items that are strictly prohibited under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) – in its deadly campaign to establish a communist government in the Philippines.
This was recently discovered after two separate clashes in Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur, where one minor was captured and three NPA combatants were killed. Also, a cache of firearms and explosives as well as other items used for bomb-making were recovered from the encounter sites.
The first encounter happened in Barangay Mabuhay, Prosperidad town on June 14 when elements of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion of the 401st Infantry Brigade, while conducting combat operations, chanced upon a group of around 10 communist terrorists.
The firefight resulted in the capture of a young female minor who goes by the alias “Cindy”, 10 backpacks, three cellular phones and APM components.
The rescued minor is in the process of being turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Official reports indicated that “Cindy” revealed to government troops the location of their guerilla base, prompting the second firefight that occurred the following day, June 15, in Sito New Decoy, Barangay Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.
Teams of Army Special Forces were sent out to information given by “Cindy” and while en route to the guerilla base, they were fired upon by a still undetermined number of CTGs who even detonated at least one APM. A ten-minute firefight ensued.
The Lianga clash resulted in the killing of three NPA fighters, including two females, one of them a minor. Likewise, several firearms, APMs, and bomb components were recovered. The seized items include an AK-47 assault rifle; two .45 caliber pistols; two bandoliers for AK 47s; one claymore mine; two blasting caps; three anti-personnel mines; four magazines for AK-47; four magazines for M16 rifles with ammunitions; 25 meters electrical wire; 25 meters detonating cord; one firing device; and two backpacks.
The operating troops then brought the cadavers of the slain CTGs to Sitio Manluy-a also in Lianga. SOVEREIGNPH