Letter to Geneva Call re: deceitful reports on the use of landmines

By FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Chairperson, NDFP Human Rights Committee

We categorically deny AFP allegations that the NPA deploys self-detonating landmines. Anyone familiar with the Philippine situation knows that the AFP is a corrupt, brutal and deceitful organization. It routinely engages in disinformation, tortures captives to make them lie and plants evidence, not only against the NPA but also against civilians, civilian communities and organizations. Institutions such as the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, the National Union of Journalists, Karapatan, human rights and lawyers groups and people’s organizations are recklessly and maliciously described as “enemy of the people”.

By FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Chairperson, NDFP Human Rights Committee

GENEVA CALL
70, Route du Pont-Butin
PO Box 334
CH-1211 Geneva 4
Switzerland

Thru:

Ms. Elizabeth Reusse-Decrey
President

and

Ms. Katherine Kramer
Programme Coordinator

 

Dear Sirs/Mesdames:

Your 3 May 2005 letter to NDFP Chief Political Consultant, Prof. Jose Maria Sison, was referred to us for reply.

We confirm Ka Gregorio Rosal’s statement that the CPP strictly prohibits the use of self-detonating (noncommand-detonated) landmines and allows only the use of command-detonated landlines aimed at specific legitimate military targets (military vehicles and troops). This is in accord with the adherence of the NDFP and the revolutionary forces to international humanitarian law to respect the rights of civilians and civilian communities and avoid bringing harm to them.

We categorically deny AFP allegations that the NPA deploys self-detonating landmines. Anyone familiar with the Philippine situation knows that the AFP is a corrupt, brutal and deceitful organization. It routinely engages in disinformation, tortures captives to make them lie and plants evidence, not only against the NPA but also against civilians, civilian communities and organizations. Institutions such as the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, the National Union of Journalists, Karapatan, human rights and lawyers groups and people’s organizations are recklessly and maliciously described as “enemy of the people”.

In the news reports you sent Prof. Sison, nowhere is there any mention that the NPA has actually used anti-personnel landmines. What you highlighted were only self-serving and unsubstantiated claims by the AFP that anti-personnel and claymore mines have been found in alleged abandoned NPA camps.

We must clarify that landmines can be described as either self-detonating or command-detonated only upon deployment in either way and not while they are still in stock or in the armory. Claymore mines and other sophisticated landmines are not manufatured by the NPA but by the contractors of the Pentagon and are given by the US government as military assistance to the AFP for use against the NPA and the MILF.

It is a well known fact in the country that the NPA’s main source of weapons is the AFP mostly through raids, ambushes and encounters. The NPA produces only a limited amount of firearms and explosives. It does not receive weapons from abroad. It relies mainly on the people and its own strength in carrying out its revolutionary tasks.

Because the NPA exerts great efforts in seizing weapons from the enemy and producing only a limited number of weapons through hard work, the NPA takes good care of its weapons and do not leave them behind in abandoned camps for the AFP to capture.

Moreover, as a regular mobile or guerrilla force, the NPA does not engage in any positional defense of territory or bases and camps by using landmines to offset surprise raids by AFP commando units. Landmines deployed around NPA camps are necessarily command-detonated for the safety of the NPA. But the NPA has limited use of even command-detonated landmines for defense. It relies mainly on the people for its protection.

The claim of Gen. Dominguez that an alleged captured NPA confirmed that the NPA is manufacturing self-detonating landmines and had used one in the ambush in San Mariano, Isabela, on 12 April 2005, has been denied in a statement issued last week by the NPA’s Reynaldo Piñon Command of Cagayan Valley. Salvador del Pueblo, NDFP spokesperson for Cagayan Valley said that it was a command-detonated landmine that disabled an armored truck and killed an AFP lieutenant and two others in said ambush.

We hope we have sufficiently clarified your questions.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *