MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, on Saturday ordered police units in Eastern Visayas to intensify operations against the communist terrorist New People's Army (NPA) and dismantle sites used in making anti-personnel mines (APMs).
In a statement, Eleazar slammed the NPA's continued manufacturing and use of APMs or landmines that is a clear violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
"The communist rebels know that the use of APMs is against the International Humanitarian Law because of the damage it causes to innocent civilians. We will not stop until we completely thwart attacks and atrocities committed by the communist terrorists in our communities," he added.
The move came after at least 19 NPA terrorists were killed in a 13-hour firefight with troops from the Philippine Army's 8th Infantry Division at their lair in Dolores, Eastern Samar on August 16, which is also used in manufacturing APMs.
Eleazar urged the public to report to authorities any information on the presence of NPA rebels as well as on sites being used by the communists to manufacture the landmines.
“This is just a proof that the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)-NPA is desperate and doesn't really care if any civilians are affected just to show that they are still strong even though they know that their force is declining," he said.
The use of APMs is also a violation of the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention adopted by the international community, prohibiting the acquisition, production, stockpiling, and use of these weapons.
Last June 6, Far Eastern University football player Kieth Absalon and his cousin Nolven died while biking after being hit by an APM detonated by the communist terrorists in Masbate City.
The CPP-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)