PH Army deploys EOD units vs. Reds' mine threat

By Priam Nepomuceno

February 18, 2019, 2:12 pm

MANILA -- The Philippine Army (PA) is deploying explosive ordnance demolition (EOD) units in the field to neutralize the dangers posed by the New People's Army (NPA)'s continuing use of anti-personnel mines, landmines and improvised explosive devices.

"(Yes), we have deployed explosive ordnance demolition units in the field. They are deployed by detachment supporting each infantry division," Army spokesperson, Lt. Col. Louie Villanueva said in a text message.

In previous months, the military has unearthed landmines in various areas where there is still presence of the NPA, a listed terrorist organization in the United States and the European Union.

"An EOD company is about 50 personnel. Their task is to provide support to combat units in terms of clearing mines/IEDs and disposal of exploded ordnance. Their basic equipment are (the) bomb suit, hook and line," Villanueva said.

Earlier, Col. Edgardo de Leon, 403rd Infantry Brigade commander, said the recovered anti-personnel mines in one of their operations can kill civilians, who are unaware of their devastating effect and could have picked them up out of curiosity.

He said the NPA’s continuing use of anti-personnel mines is a direct violation of the Ottawa Convention banning the use of anti-personnel mines because of its mutilating effect on the victims. (PNA)