From the Philippine Star (Oct 29): Rebel attacks in E. Mindanao affect 471 persons
A total of 471 individuals have been affected by atrocities committed by communist rebels in Eastern Mindanao since 2010, the military said yesterday.
Of the number, 396 were soldiers while 75 were civilians, according to Capt. William Alfred Rodriguez, spokesman for the Army’s 102nd Brigade.
Despite the supposed gains of the military against the New People’s Army (NPA), 109 soldiers in Eastern Mindanao were killed and 287 others were wounded during the period.
A total of 27 civilians were killed during the attacks while 48 others were wounded.
“From 2010 to date, the NPA has deliberately harmed a total of 471 civilians and military personnel through detonation of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in eastern Mindanao alone,” Rodriguez said in a statement.
He said the NPA had disregarded the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect to Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law when it used the explosives.
The agreement protects civilians, non-combatants and soldiers who are wounded and are no longer capable of fighting.
In an earlier statement, the National Democratic Front (NDF), the political arm of the communist movement, said the explosives being used by its fighters are allowed by the international treaties.
The NDF said the IEDs of the NPA were command-detonated explosives and not pressure-triggered to ensure the safety of the civilians.
The explosives, the NDF claimed, are manned and triggered on command and are legitimate weapons of war.