THE Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Wednesday twitted President Duterte’s demand that the New People’s Army (NPA) stop using land mines, by ordering guerrillas nationwide to even expand the deployment of the explosive that the party euphemistically calls “command-detonated explosives [CDX].”
“The NPA must further expand use of CDX in launching tactical offensives against the reactionary armed forces, police and all its attached paramilitaries,” the CPP Central Committee statement stressed.
“The CPP and the NPA reject the demand of President Duterte for the NPA to stop using CDX land mines, which are legitimate weapons of war and are allowed under the Geneva Conventions and the Ottawa Treaty on Landmines,” the statement released by the CPP Information Bureau said.
Mr. Duterte insisted he has repeatedly told the NPA in Mindanao to stop using land mines that were banned under international conventions.
“Perhaps, he [President Duterte] has not been closely listening to explanations about land-mine conventions and distinctions made about different types of land mines,” the CPP said in the statement.
“The aim of the Ottawa Treaty banning antipersonnel land mines is to protect civilians from accidental explosions,” the party pointed out.
The treaty defines antipersonnel mines as those designed to be exploded by “the presence, proximity or contact of a person.”
The CPP told Mr. Duterte, “The explosives and land mines used by the NPA are command-detonated or blasted manually, some with battery-powered electronic triggers.”
It added that CDX land mines manufactured by the NPA units will not explode simply if they are stepped on, tripped upon or kicked around.
“Furthermore, CDX land mines are not laid out indiscriminately and are always manned or within the immediate proximity of the NPA unit that emplaced them,” the CPP statement added.
“There has yet to be an incident where a CDX land mine laid by the NPA was accidentally exploded by a civilian.”
“The NPA is very careful about using weapons that may accidentally hurt or injure civilians,” the CPP said. “Even indigenous booby traps, such as punji sticks, are used with discrimination and are not left unmanned.”
“Contrary to President Duterte’s demand for the NPA to stop using its CDX land mines, the NPA and the people’s militias must further expand the use of such weapons,” the CPP added.
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