By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – Two soldiers were injured after a landmine believed to have been planted by New People’s Army (NPA) exploded at 1:25 p.m. on Saturday at Lower Sitio Camarag in Barangay Tambobong, Baguio District, this city.
The explosion occurred a day after communist guerillas freed Police Insp. Menardo Nisperos Cui, deputy of police chief of President Roxas in North Cotabato, at Sitio Apog Apog in Barangay Panaka, at the boundary of Magpet, North Cotabato and Marilog District Davao City after seven months in captivity.
Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 spokesperson Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz said the explosion wounded PFC. Jejomar Judan and Sgt. Enrique Genon.
She said the soldiers retaliated and exchanged bullets with the rebels before moving away from the area.
Authorities recovered fragments of two improvised explosive devices (IEDs), Driz said.
“We condemn this act. They are still using landmines, which is obviously a violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHIHL),” she said.
The communist guerillas recently rejected the localized peace talks that are being pushed by the Duterte administration, saying it is better to support the peace negotiations of the government with the communists.
For the peace talks between government and National Democratic Front of the Philippines to resume, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said the communists must agree that the venue of the negotiations must be in the country; no collection of revolutionary tax; no hostilities; NPA fighters to be confined to their camps; and no coalition government.
The guidelines for the localized peace talks as drafted by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and released by Malacañang on July 12 include the following: nationally orchestrated, centrally directed and locally supervised and implemented; it should not compromise the constitutional integrity and sovereignty; and it shall cover the NPAs, organs of political power and Militia ng Bayan for a complete and genuine resolution of the local armed conflict.
The next condition is that the constitutional mandate of the state to protect public safety, civilian welfare, critical infrastructure and private properties and the guarantee of rule of law and order will not be compromised at all times even if a ceasefire is between the two local peace channels is in place.