The Philippine National Police (PNP) is mourning the death of the second police officer who died due to serious injuries after the detonation of an anti-personnel mine by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Las Navas, Northern Samar on April 4.
The Northern Samar police provincial office announced on Wednesday night that Pat. Rico Borja succumbed to blast injuries while being treated in a local hospital in Catarman, Northern Samar.
The injuries sustained by Borja caused multi-organ failure and cardiopulmonary arrest making him unable to recover, said Col. Alfredo Tadefa, acting provincial director of Northern Samar PNP.
“We are in deep sadness on the horrendous death of these two young police officers who were just doing their duties in ensuring the safety and security of the populace in the area. We strongly condemn the continued human rights violations of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA,” Tadefa said in a statement.
Borja is the second casualty in the roadside anti-personnel blast planted by the NPA in San Miguel, Las Navas town.
Tadefa said government forces were just heading to Las Navas town center to get booster shots on the morning of April 4 when the anti-personnel mine exploded.
Killed on the spot by the roadside blast was Pat. Harvie Lovino while injured were three policemen and two soldiers.
The victims belong to the government’s retooled Community Support Program (CSP) team deployed in the remote Osang village of nearby Catubig town.
CSP is a flagship program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines used to clear communities of NPA infestation while neutralizing the politics-military structure the rebels established in the villages.
The use of anti-personnel landmines is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law, Republic Act 9851, and the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, to which the Philippines is a State Party.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Fund as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973.
Source: Philippines News Agency