TACLOBAN CITY – Northern Samar Gov. Edwin Ongchuan has condemned the New People’s Army (NPA) landmine attack in Barangay Quirino, Las Navas town on Sunday, Dec. 18, in which six soldiers from the 20th Infantry Battalion securing a government project were injured.
"This inhumane act is apparently a desperate attempt of the NPA to distract the people from believing and supporting the government’s peace and development efforts in the area," Ongchuan said.
The provincial government lamented the continuous use of landmines by the NPA which he cited as a blatant violation of the International Humanitarian Law.
Ongchuan said landmines pose a threat not only to the government forces who are being faithful to their duty of protecting the people but also put the lives and safety of civilians at risk.
The NPA was reported to have used anti-personnel mines (APMs) against the Mobile Community Support and Sustainment Program (MCSSP) teams while securing the water system project in Barangay Quirino.
Ongchuan thanked the Army for ensuring that the project under the Support to the Barangay Development Program (SBDP) will be implemented.
Barangay Quirino is one of the various SBDP project recipient barangays in the province.
“On the face of these distractions, we will not retract, but will continue to pursue our peace and development efforts in conflict-ridden areas in the province,” Ongchuan, chairman of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, added.