Statement: On the Landmine Blast in Masbate on 06 June 2021

14 June 2021 – The Philippine International Humanitarian Law Ad Hoc Committee,[1] condemns the use of landmines by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Masbate on 06 June 2021 which resulted in the deaths of two civilians and the injury of a minor.

The use of landmines is a violation of international humanitarian law (IHL), Republic Act 9851, and the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (Ottawa Treaty), to which the Philippines is a State Party. IHL prohibits the production, stockpiling, transfer and use of anti-personnel mines (APMs). These weapons cause serious destruction and indiscriminately harm civilians, including children. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) documents the use of landmines by the NPA. 

The Philippine Government strongly adheres to the principles of IHL and other related international conventions.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of National Defense (DND) serve as co-chairs of the IHL Ad Hoc Committee, an inter-agency body that works with relevant stakeholders to promote respect for IHL in the country.  

The Committee meets regularly and is preparing activities, such as integrating IHL in the K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum (BEC), for the commemoration of IHL Day in August 2021. END

[1] Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) (co-chair), Department of National Defense (DND) (co-chair), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat (PHRCS), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).