MANILA (UPDATE) – Traces of human feces and snake venom were found in the wounds of the 7 soldiers who were hurt in a landmine blast in Compostela Valley, the military said on Wednesday.
Military doctors found the feces and venom during a medical examination.
Capt. Alberto Caber, spokesman of the Eastern Mindanao Command, said the findings made matters worse for the New People's Army (NPA), which is suspected of violating the 1998 Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law because of the use of landmines.
The medical officer of the Camp Panacan Station Hospital, Lt. Col. Victor Dato, said the foreign matter will aggravate the soldiers’ wounds.
"We found it at the wounds of the soldiers during examination and treatment yesterday morning. It will aggravate the effect of landmines," he said.
Meanwhile, EastMinCom commander Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz, condemned the attack, calling it a “gross violation of human rights.”
“This type of warfare shows the true nature of the NPAs as they want to kill people slowly. I hope that no civilians will become victims of this foolishness," said Cruz.
The soldiers were conducting patrol operations in Sitio Lantaan, Barangay Napnapan when the landmine exploded at around 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
The NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command denied that the landmines were contaminated with feces and venom.
“To insinuate that the NPA is engaged in a highly criminal biological and chemical warfare is, indeed, pure invention. NPA Red fighters have been using in the last four decades, guerrilla warfare weapons, such as but not limited to, command-detonated explosives made up of traditional, non-biologically toxic ingredients,” the NPA said in a statement.
The NPA also said that the explosives in the blast were “command-detonated explosives” and not pressure-type bombs that are banned by international laws.