2 soldiers hurt in landmine explosion in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 28 July)  – 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 occured a day after communist guerillas freed, after seven months in captivity, Police Insp. Menardo Nisperos Cui, deputy 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.

Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 said wounded in the explosion were Pfc. Jejomar Judan and Sgt. Enrique Genon. The blast also damaged a military truck.

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 of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHIHL),” she said, adding the regional office is helping the military in filing cases against the perpetrators.

The communist guerillas recently rejected the localized peace talks being pushed by the Duterte administration, saying it is better to support the peace negotiations of the government with the communists.

The local peace talks would be pursued if the GRP-NDFP peace talks will no longer happen.

For the peace talks between government and National Democratic Front to resume, President Rodrigo Duterte said the communists must agree that the venue of the negotiations be in the country; there would be 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 said it is nationally orchestrated, centrally directed and locally supervised and implemented; it should not compromise the constitutional integrity and sovereignty; and it shall cover the NPA, 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 between the two local peace channels is in place.

It also cited government goodwill, full amnesty package based on disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration to the mainstream of society. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)