RUSTY BUT ACTIVE. The unearthed mortar explosives that were properly disposed of by the Army’s 34 Infantry Battalion’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team in Midsayap, North Cotabato, Wednesday (May 18, 2022). The explosives consist of 25 pieces of 60mm heavily corroded mortar projectiles and eight pieces of old 81mm mortar explosives. (Photo courtesy of Midsayap MPS)

MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato – Construction workers unearthed 33 pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXOs) along a new road being built in Barangay Sadaan here, police said Thursday.

Lt. Col. Rolly C. Oranza, the town police chief, said the workers were digging drainage in the area when they accidentally found the explosives around 4 p.m. Wednesday.

“They were shoveling a three-meter deep hole for the road canal when they noticed the old and rusty pieces of projectile ammunition,” Oranza told reporters.

“The good thing is they (workers) immediately reported their discovery to us and we, in turn, coordinated with the Army’s 34th Infantry Battalion’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (34IB-EOD) team for proper disposal,” he added.

The unearthed UXOs consisted of 25 pieces of 60mm heavily corroded mortar projectiles without fuse; eight pieces of 81mm mortar explosives without fuse; and three other pieces of unspecified type of projectiles missing tail fins.

According to Oranza, the site where the explosives were recovered was a former detachment of the Philippine Constabulary in the 1970s and the unused mortars were intentionally buried for safety

“All the UXOs found have the potential to explode,” he said, adding the explosives are now under the custody of the Army’s 34IB EOD unit for safekeeping. (PNA)