By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – Government security forces foiled bomb attack by Communist terrorists despite the ceasefire called by the Philippine government because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The government declared a unilateral ceasefire against the New People’s Army (NPA) to allow the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to shift its efforts to support the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID) crisis.
However, according to First Lt. Krisjuper Andreo J. Punsalan, Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer of the Army’s 3rd Special Forces (Arrowhead) Battalion (3rd SFBn), Communist insurgents have tried to take advantage of the situation.
“Due to the concern of the villagers to the government troops, they reported the exact location of two powerful bombs that supposed to inflict lives,” stressed the 3rd SFBn CMO officer, in an exclusive interview with The Manila Bulletin on Friday.
Acting on a report from concerned villagers, elements of the Eighth Special Forces Company (8th SFC) of the 3rd SFBn immediately proceeded to the reported area and recovered the two pieces of 12 kilogram grapeshot pressurized type improvised anti-personnel mine planted 10 meters away from a barangay road in Purok 4, Barangay New Salem, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur province on Thursday, March 19.
“The recovered pressurized type of IEDs can inflict a fatal damage to victims within an estimated 10- to 15 meter radius according to its specifications and assessment of an explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) expert,” Punsalan said.
The bomb could have inflicted serious harm or even death to troops and local resident had it not been recovered by the soldiers, the 3rd SFBn CMO officer said.
The recovered bombs were immediately brought to the headquarters of the 8th SFC for safe-keeping, he said.
“Pressurized type of IEDs are extremely dangerous than command detonated IEDs kasi matamaan lang ng kaunti ng biktima ito at mapressure sa required amount of force ng IED ay sasabog na ito,” an EOD expert, also said.