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MANILA, Philippines - Police and military authorities intercepted and arrested a 35-year-old truck driver caught transporting several improvised landmines in Pantukan, Compostela Valley.
Oliver Balusan, a resident of Bislig City, was intercepted and apprehended at around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday at a checkpoint along the National Highway Townsiye, Barangay Kingking.
Balusan yielded 12 pieces of improvised landmines (7.5 inches in diameter) and other suspected incendiary devices found in his white Fuso dump truck.
In a statement, Lt. Col. Jerry Borja, Commander of the 71st Infantry Battalion, said “based on the kind and make of these landmines, there is no doubt that they are owned by the "Organized Crime Group-New People’s Army (OCG-NPA)."
Accordingly, these landmines are bigger than the ones used in Libay-libay, Maco landmine attack.
Borja said a piece of these landmines has a killing radius of 50 meters, if three are combined, anyone within five meters can be killed by its blast alone even without the shrapnel. If all 12 are combined, it can easily collapse a "two-story building.”
The confiscated items were brought to Pantukan Police Station for proper handling and disposition.
Brig. Gen. Ariel Bernardo, Commander of Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said the use of landmines is a violation of international law.
“The use of landmines is a violation of the provisions of CARHRIHL specifically Part III, Article 2, Paragraph 15. We condemn to the highest degree the NPA’s continued use of these banned landmines,” Bernardo said.