EXPLOSIVES. Members of the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team carefully carried to a hole the improvised explosive devices recovered by government troopers in various operations in Makilala, North Cotabato in recent months. The IEDs were buried with rocks and soil (inset) at a quarry site at remote Barangay Sinkatulan in the municipality on Wednesday (April 7, 2021) before it was destroyed through the use of an IED disruptor. (Photos courtesy of 39IB)

MAKILALA, North Cotabato – The Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion (39IB) here destroyed 48 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) recovered from its various operations against the communist New Peoples’ Army (NPA) in recent months.

The disposal of the IEDs took place at a secluded area of far-flung Barangay Sinkatulan here, according to 1Lt. Charles Ian Parel, 39IB civil-military officer.

“This is the second batch of IEDs and other bomb-making materials we have destroyed from our operations against the NPA since last year,” he said.

Last February, Parel said the 39IB has also secured and blasted with an IED disruptor the initial batch of more than 60 homemade bombs recovered from the terror group.

He said IED-making materials included cut round bars, PVC pipes, and explosive substances used for anti-personnel attacks against government troopers.

“We expect that more IEDs and firearms will be recovered by our troopers as the NPAs are dwindling in number in North Cotabato due to the series of surrenders of its members the past several months,” Parel added.

He said IED disposal is an annual activity of Philippine Army units to detonate all recovered unexploded bombs and ammunition at a chosen area to unload the stockpile of enemy explosives at their camps’ IED depository facilities.

The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)