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By Darlan Palencia Barcelon /

There is confusion, angst on the ground, and the pining as to when the use of anti-personnel mine be stopped in the Bicol countryside.

Last Sunday, along the grassy road in Barangay Anas, Masbate City- the raging flame of the people’s protracted war (ppw) being wage by the Communist Party of the Philippines’ armed group has killed two civilians and maiming another.

The deadly blast has killed the two biking civilians on the scene and wounding another one has proven only one thing – using anti-personnel mine does not discriminate against an unarmed civilian or an armed state security force.

Again, the tragic blast did not achieve a tangible tactical gain on the people’s protracted war in Masbate by the local armed New People’s Army partisans who detonated the bomb.

The premeditated planting of explosives along the road of Anas has bolstered a call to the Communist Party of the Philippines to reflect on their action to assess the use of land mines in the pursuit of their protracted war in the countryside.

Owning responsibility for the tragic carnage that has befallen the Absalon family is a positive act of contrition and it should not be repeated again on innocent civilians.

The remorse and apology from the Communist Party should bring out a strong resolve from the politburo of the Bicol Regional Party Committee to review the conduct of war strategy by demining the conduct of the armed struggle.

In doing so, the conduct of the armed struggle as a strategy is putting the context of “respect for international human rights” into a core value; and it will not be paradoxically misconstrued as a shallow word of propaganda by the toiling masses which the party vow to serve.

If we demand from the Philippine government to be the protector of human rights – the Communist Party of the Philippines is also a stakeholder to the sanctity of human rights as a political party who is championing the cause of “Serving the People”, therefore the party must adhere to this virtue at all times.

By not acquiring a single anti-personnel mine or any form of improvised explosive device is a positive step towards the realization of a mine-free arm struggle at the very minimum both in urban and rural guerilla zones.

Make this as the pact or a social contract of the Communist Party of the Philippines with the Filipino masess to put the high premium on human rights by reflecting on The 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.

Although the light at the end of the tunnel remains to be seen as there are no concrete steps yet to be done to stop further hostilities and to reduce violence in order to prevent further loss of lives and other forms of violations of rights, the road to just and lasting peace remain the people’s desire.

Stop using anti-personnel mine in the conduct of the people’s protracted war is a positive step towards the start of humanizing the armed partisans who are directly taking part in the armed struggle.


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