LEGAZPI CITY – Government troops recently thwarted a possible attack of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) after seizing 53 anti-personnel mines in Barangay Del Carmen, Lagonoy, Camarines Sur
Capt. John Paul Belleza, 9th Infantry Division spokesperson, said in an interview on Friday that residents reported the presence of a CTG, prompting the 96th Infantry Battalion (96IB) to conduct a security operation where they encountered an undetermined number of New People’s Army members.
“After a 20-minute firefight, the enemies withdrew, leaving behind a stockpile of anti-personnel mines, 33 pieces of which weighed 7 to 10 kilograms each while the other 20 weighed 4 to 5 kilograms each,” Belleza said.
Bomb components were also seized.
Joint Task Force Bicolandia, under Maj. Gen. Henry Robinson Jr., strongly condemned the CTG for its continuous production and use of anti-personnel mines which is a clear violation of international and domestic laws.
“Aside from the International Humanitarian Law, the use of anti-personnel mines is a violation of Republic Act 9851, or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and other Crimes against Humanity, which prohibits the use of weapons, projectiles and materials, and methods of warfare which are of the nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering,” he said.
Robinson lashed anew at communist-terrorists for extorting money even from the poor to fund the production of explosives that endanger the lives of both government troops and innocent civilians.
“These acts are purely evil and we thank the local populace who, due to their complete abhorrence of the CTG’s lawlessness, has been cooperating with us in our campaign to hunt down these terrorists. Instead of giving in to the threats of this group, they report them to us or to the police, preempting the unlawful and treacherous acts of the CTG,” Robinson said.
Col. Jaime Abawag Jr., Brigade Commander of the 902nd Infantry Brigade, said the seizure of the explosives saved lives.
“I thank the residents of Del Carmen for reporting the presence of the CTG which prevented the communist terrorists from launching another terroristic attack just as what they did in Ligao City, Albay last week,” he said.
On April 3, while Bicolanos were observing the Holy Week, a minor and a motorcyle rider sustained shrapnel wounds after CTG members detonated an improvised explosive device in Purok 5, Barangay Allang.
Since July last year, government troops have already seized hundreds of explosives in Masbate, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, and Camarines Norte.
“Huwag n’yong hintaying mapabilang sa mga biktima ng inyong terorismo ang inyong mga mahal sa buhay. Kapag nagbalik-loob na kayo sa pamahalaan ngayon, hindi mga bombang nakakasira ng buhay at ari-arian ang hahawakan ninyo kundi ang kamay ng inyong mga mahal sa buhay, benipisyo mula sa gobyerno para sa inyong pagbabagong buhay at higit sa lahat pag-asa para sa mas mapayapa at magandang kinabukasan. Nasa inyong mga kamay ang desisyon (Do not wait for the time when even your loved ones will become victims of terrorism. Once you rejoin government, you will no longer hold bombs that destroy lives and properties, but the hands of your loved ones, benefits to start anew and most of all, peace and a better future. The decision is yours),” Robinson said. (PNA)