THE MILITARY’S Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) reported that it unearthed 30 landmines in various areas, allegedly planted by the communist armed group New People’s Army (NPA). Major General Felimon T. Santos Jr., EastMinCom head, said the buried explosive devices were found by troops between January and early this month, mainly in parts of the provinces of Compostela Valley and Surigao, and Butuan City. Mr. Santos said the NPA have continued to use landmines even if this is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law. “The leadership of NPA are all lip service, they always pretend to respect International Humanitarian Law, but in truth and in fact, they are the number one violator of this law. These landmines that were captured from them is a manifestation of their wanton disregard of IHL and the safety of the communities,” he said. The 1997 Mine Ban Treaty specifically prohibits the use of landmines in war as well as ordered states to destroy their stockpiles. — Carmelito Q. Francisco