TOKYO, Japan (Mabuhay) – President Benigno Aquino III on Friday night said the capture of a land mine factory of the communist New People’s Army by government forces in Agusan del Sur province in Mindanao will prevent injuries to innocent civilians.
The President lauded the state forces (the Eastern Mindanao Command) that discovered and captured the facility last Wednesday (December 11), saying the Philippine government is a signatory to an international agreement against the use of land mines.
“It has prevented injuries especially to noncombatants,” he said, noting such land mines had wounded many innocent civilians who should have been spared from the fighting.
He added the discovery of the factory is “a very significant find,” with more than 100 assembled mines and components.
President Aquino said land mines had been very destructive even to those not involved in fighting between government forces and the NPAs.
But he also noted the National Democratic Front insisted that there are “exemptions” where certain types of mines are legal.
“Bakit pa (kailangan ng distinctions) kung mines are indiscriminate? Theoretically dapat ang combatants lang ang napapasok sa sagupaan, pero itong mga landmines, in particular, marami nang napinsala na hindi mga combatants (Why make a distinction when mines are indiscriminate? In theory, only combatants should be involved in fighting. But these land mines kill or injure people regardless of whether they are combatants or not),” he said.(MNS)