The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has condemned the latest attack by the New People’s Army (NPA) using anti-personnel mines against government troops in Eastern Samar and vowed to conduct an inquiry of its own.
CHR Deputy Spokesperson Marc Louis Siapno, in a statement issued on Friday, said “no ideology can justify violations of human rights nor be used as a reason to excuse themselves from any accountability”.
To recall, a member of the Philippine Army’s 52nd Infantry Battalion and two militiamen were killed while six others were injured after NPA members detonated three anti-personnel mines (APM) in Jipapad, Eastern Samar early Wednesday.
The Police Regional Office in Eastern Samar said 14 soldiers and members of the Civilian Armed Force Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary (CAA) were heading to their new detachment when ambushed by about 30 NPA rebels in Sitio Cabatas, Barangay 4.
The report stated that the soldiers were about 70 meters away from the detachment when the APMs exploded simultaneously.
The CHR stressed in its statement that even non-state actors should comply with the International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
“In this incident, the indiscriminate use of improvised explosive devices, including landmines, continues to fail in distinguishing between civilians and combatants and protect especially civilians and communities from the ill effects of armed conflict, which violates the spirit of IHL,” Siapno said.
He said that through its regional office in Central Visayas, the CHR will pursue an independent probe.
The CHR sent its condolences to the families of the deceased and wished for a quick recovery of those wounded.