MANILA, Philippines – One civilian died while 5 others were seriously injured in an attack by communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Compostela Valley province on Sunday, the military said.
The fatality was identified as 52-year-old Nicholas Paquingan, while those injured were Rogie Pabillon, Glemark Gemino, Angelito Cumayas, and Juanito Bacalso.
An unnamed soldier was also wounded, according to Lt. Col. Joshua Santiago, spokesman of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division.
The victims were attacked after taking part in a community rally for peace and development for the 22 barangays of Maco, Compostela Valley, Santiago said.
The NPA reportedly used a landmine in the attack that occurred around 5 p.m. in Barangay Libay-libay, Maco town.
The military lashed out at the communist group after the attack.
“The Law of the Armed Conflict, Section 5 talks about the protection of the civilian people and that attacks on civilians are prohibited,” Santiago said.
“The use of an improvised landmine is a violation of two international warfare agreements, namely; the 1997 Ottawa Convention and the amended 1996 United Nations convention in Geneva that banned the use of anti-personnel explosive devices,” he said.
"We express our heartfelt condolences to the victim's family. We are all grieving with you in this tragic event," said Lt. Col. Camilo Ligayo, commander of the Army’s 71st Infantry Battalion.