Army overruns NPA lair in Zamboanga Del Sur

The continued use of the improvised explosive device (IED) by New People’s Army terrorists show that “they don’t value human rights”, a military official said on September 14, 2020.

SEIZED. Government troops have overrun over the weekend a hideout of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists in Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur. The troops have recovered improvised explosive device, bomb-making components, medical supplies, and other personal belongings. (Photo courtesy of the 53rd Infantry Battalion)

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Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, commander of the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion (53IB), issued the statement as the military’s Task Unit “Kaiser”, composed of troops from the 53IB and 97IB of Army’s 102nd IB, seized explosives and bomb-making components when they overran an NPA lair in Barangay Bagong Silang, Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur last weekend.

“This was not the first time they employed IEDs; their continued employment of IEDs not only shows they don’t value human rights but also shows they disregard value for human life,” Herrera said in a statement Monday.

Herrera said the use of IEDs pose a great danger to civilians.

He said that employing IEDs without particular rules of distinction, proportionality, and precautions in attack is banned and prohibited by the international humanitarian law, the United Nations, and various conventions participated by many countries around the world.

Troops have also recovered 60 meters of electrical wire, three batteries, one smoke grenade, one solar panel, one sphygmomanometer, assorted medical supplies, two backpacks, and other personal belongings.

The soldiers overran the hideout following a 15-minute firefight that sent the NPA members scampering to different directions. There was no casualty on the government troops.

Herrera said the troops are tracking down the rebels.

Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, 102nd IB commander, assured the residents of Dumingag that they would not stop until peace is finally achieved.

“Your brigade and your Army will continue to deliver its mandate of protecting the people and the State; we will not stop until peace is finally delivered and the people finally feel safe,” Nicolas said. (Teofilo Garcia, Jr., PNA)

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