MANILA, Philippines—Simply cruel.
This was how the spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday described the alleged new tactic of the New People’s Army (NPA) planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) spiked with venom and human waste.
“We can say that the attack is undertaking a different level of cruelty because, yes, it’s true that they are waging an insurgency against the AFP but we don’t expect them to play fair and any advantage they want to have, they will use it. But to use such methods, I believe, is unacceptable,” Col. Ramon Zagala, AFP public affairs chief, told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo.
Reports reaching the military headquarters from the Eastern Mindanao Command indicated that the IED that injured seven soldiers, including a lieutenant, in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, on Sept. 3 appeared to contain microbes from venom and human waste.
But Zagala said the military was still conducting further tests to determine exactly where the microbes found in the soldiers’ wounds came from.
Zagala said military doctors became suspicious after the soldiers failed to respond to antibiotic treatment.
The NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command, however, denied the claim of the AFP.
In a statement, Rigoberto Sanchez, the command’s spokesperson, said the NPA’s explosives are command-detonated and are “made up of traditional, nonbiologically toxic ingredients.” Nikko Dizon