Army foils NPA attempt to detonate landmine in Bukidnon

By Mel Madera

July 20, 2018, 6:43 pm

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon – Troops belonging to the Army's 8th Infantry Battalion foiled an attempt of the New People’s Army (NPA) to detonate a landmine here at around 9 a.m. on Thursday, a military official said.

Captain Norman Tagros, civil military operations officer of the Army's 403rd Brigade, said the 8th IB troopers engaged an undertermined number of NPA rebels in a five-minute encounter in Sitio Nabawang, Brgy. Busdi, this city.

After the encounter, Tagros said, soldiers recovered explosives and other paraphernalia, including a 70-meter electrical wire and empty shells of M16 and AK-47 rifles.

Tagros said soldiers were tipped-off by concerned civilians in the area about the presence of armed men, who they saw laying Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) along the road in their community.

There were no reported casualties on the government side but the military believed some NPA members were wounded as evidenced by the bloodstains scattered along the rebels' withdrawal routes.

Lieutenant Colonel Ronald M. Illana, 8th IB commanding officer, condemned the NPA for "continuously violating" the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

Illana pointed out that CARHRIHL that prohibits the use of landmines, adding such explosive device poses great harm to civilians--especially when placed in nearby communities.

For his part, Brigadier General Eric C. Vinoya, 403rd Infantry Brigade commander, commended the cooperation of local residents in the area.

Busdi is an adjacent village of Sitio Kaleb in Brgy. Kibalabag, Malaybalay City where three members of the 8IB were ambushed on February 1, 2017. The NPA in North Central Mindanao owned the responsibility for the incident. (Mel B. Madera/PNA)