NPA use of CDEx in Northern Samar ambush, legitimate says CPP

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The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the use of command-detonated explosives (CDEx) in an ambuscade by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Las Navas, Northern Samar last April 3 was consistent with international rules on the conduct of war. This was in response to the media spectacle mounted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) making it appear that NPA weapons violated international conventions.

The NPA-Northern Samar earlier confirmed in a statement that its forces ambushed combined forces of the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) last April 3 in Barangay San Miguel, Las Navas. Reports said that at least one police officer was killed while five others were wounded.

According to Amado Pesante, NPA-Northern Samar (Rodante Urtal Command) spokesperson, the armed action was “response to complaints by the masses in Barangay San Miguel and Barangay Osang against the harassment, midnight interrogations, encampment within public utilities including the school … among other rights violations perpetrated by elements of AFP-PNP in the area.”

CPP Chief Information Officer Marco Valbuena explained that the NPA’s use of CDEx is in line with the Ottawa Treaty which bans only those land mines “designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person.” “In contrast,” Valbuena said, “the NPA’s CDEx are exploded only on command by an assigned personnel in battles and are precisely aimed at armed adversaries.”

After the April 3 ambush, the PNP-Eastern Visayas immediately resorted to publicity stunts by declaring to file criminal charges and calling on the Commission on Human Rights to “investigate” the incident.

“The AFP and PNP are making themselves look stupid by publicly displaying their ignorance of international statutes,” Valbuena noted. “The NPA’s Las Navas ambush is clearly legitimate and in line with international rules of war.”

“Besides, the CHR does not have the authority to investigate the NPA,” said Valbuena, citing the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

The NPA’s use of CDEx is far more precise, according to Pesante, than the AFP-PNP’s terrorist bombing that causes widespread damage to life and property, and terrorizes civilians whose fields, mountain farms, and communities are targeted.

“The AFP-PNP pretends to be champions of IHL even as they commit the worst forms of IHL violations, including the killing of two children Andrei Mercado, 12, and Leandro Alivio, 13, who were mercilessly strafed by the AFP in Barangay Roxas in Catubig last February 8. They are the real terrorists, hated and despised by the people for their abuses, lies, and fascist attacks against civilian communities,” Pesante ended. (CPP Information Bureau)

AB: NPA use of CDEx in Northern Samar ambush, legitimate says CPP