CHR condemns NPA’s use of improvised explosives near school amid Masbate clash
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Monday said it “strongly condemns” the New People’s Army (NPA) members’ use of improvised explosive devices (IED), and even used it near a school, during a clash with government troops in Masbate.
CHR, in a statement, also said that the use of IED is against international humanitarian law (IHL).
“This violent act goes directly against the very principles of the IHL,” the CHR said of improvised explosive devices.
Two soldiers and a minor were wounded in an explosion on March 22, which led to a firefight between 2nd Infantry Battalion troops and communist rebels near a public elementary school in Placer town.
“[S]chools are zones of peace,” the CHR said. “They must be free from the presence of armed combatants at all times.”
The CHR said it has also met with local agencies to assist students, teachers, and other school employees subjected to panic and trauma caused by the incident.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has since ordered the increase of police and military presence in the province after the military encounter.—Maria Liezl Projella, INQUIRER.net trainee