Saturday, October 26, 2019

Reds blamed for Bukidnon police station blast

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 26, 2019): Reds blamed for Bukidnon police station blast

POLICE STATION BLAST. Police personnel inspect the damage following the blast that occurred at the police headquarters of Quezon town in Bukidnon on Thursday night (October 24). Police blamed the communist rebels for the explosion that damaged the roof of the building and a civilian vehicle. (Contributed photo)

Local authorities in the Bukidnon town of Quezon blamed communist rebels for the blast that damaged the roof of the town's police headquarters and a civilian vehicle on Thursday night.

In a press statement on Friday, the local government unit of Quezon said the blast that rocked the police headquarter came from an anti-personnel mine (APM), causing minimal damage to its windows and wall.

It cited a post-blast investigation by the Scene of the Crime Operation (SOCO) and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) group, which indicated that the APM used in the attack was "similar to those captured from the New People’s Army (NPA).

"The Municipality of Quezon, Bukidnon condemns this heinous act of violence against a civilian entity, and calls on the NPA to respect International Humanitarian Law (IHL)," the statement said.

In a related development, the local chief executive of Cabanglasan town, Bukidnon, has also called on both the military and the NPA to "respect and abide" by the IHL, especially in the protection of unarmed civilians.

Mayor Reynante Inocando made the call during the observance of the United Nations Day on Thursday, where he underscored the importance of preserving the principles of the IHL in protecting the civilian populace.

"This celebration is to remind us that we and our community including our properties are protected by the International Humanitarian Law,” Inocando said.

Lt. Col. Ronald Illana, the commanding officer of the Army's 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB) who attended the ceremony, responded that the Army will always respect and practice the IHL principles as part of its Constitutional mandate.

“Your 8th IB army has been observing and respecting the International Humanitarian Law and we will continue to do so. My gratitude to Mayor Inocando for reminding the people that they are protected by this law,” Illana said.

Under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law signed between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front (NDF)--the communist rebel movement's political arm--both parties agreed to respect human rights at all times.

Signed in 1998, the agreement also emphasizes the protection of civilian lives and properties.

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