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Last Updated: 25 November 2013

Mine Ban Policy

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures

No action taken on bills since early 2011

Article 7 reporting

14 September 2012


The Republic of the Philippines signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 15 February 2000, becoming a State Party on 1 August 2000.

Implementation legislation has remained stalled in the Philippine House and Senate and no action appears to have been taken on either piece of legislation. In February 2011, the “Act Providing for a Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Landmines, for Other Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Landmines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices, For The Creation of a Philippine Coordinating Committee on Landmines, and for Related Purposes” was re-filed in Congress as House Bill 04159 by Rep. Walden Bello of the Akbayan Party. The bill has been with the Committee on National Defense and Security since February 2011.[1] The bill was also filed in the Philippine Senate on 5 July 2010 by Gregorio B. Honasan II and by Manny B. Villar Jr. on 12 July 2010 as SBN 1244; it has been pending in committee since August 2010.[2]

In its September 2012 Article 7 report, the Philippines stated that it had no updated information on the status of congressional activity on an implementation law.[3]

As of 15 August 2013, the Philippines had not provided its Article 7 report, due 30 April 2013. It submitted its last report on 14 September 2012.[4] Its previous Article 7 report covered calendar year 2010. It has provided  nine previous reports.[5]

The Philippines attended the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in December 2012 and intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in May 2013. The Philippines also attended the Bangkok Symposium on Enhancing Cooperation & Assistance in June 2013 in Bangkok.

The Philippines is a State Party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines.

Production, transfer, stockpiling, and use

In September 2012, the Philippines reported that it had destroyed a further 271 M18A1 Claymore antipersonnel mines discovered during inspections at ammunition depots.[6] The Philippines reports that it has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines. It destroyed its entire stockpile of antipersonnel mines—all Claymore-type mines—in 1998. It has not retained any live mines for training purposes. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has stated that it has never used antipersonnel mines to combat insurgency groups within the country.

Media reports regularly state that authorities have recovered “landmines” during operations against insurgents, almost all of which appear to be command-detonated improvised explosive devices (IEDs).[7] In December 2009, the Philippines told States Parties that all landmines and IEDs recovered from non-state armed groups (NSAGs) are destroyed immediately.[8] In September 2012, the Philippines reported that it had recovered and destroyed 63 improvised antipersonnel mines during operations.[9] In April 2013, Brigadier General Noel Miano, Commander of the Munitions Control Center of the Armed Forces, clarified that this was comprised of 11 claymore mines, and 52 IEDs that did not have fuzes/detonators attached.[10]

Non-state armed groups

The Monitor could not identify any instances of use of antipersonnel mines (victim-activated explosive devices or booby-traps) by NSAGs during 2012 or the first half of 2013.

During 2012, the Munitions Control Center of the Armed Forces of the Philippines reported 29 incidents involving the deployment of “antipersonnel mines” by NSAGs. In these incidents, there were 43 dead and 153 injured.[11] However, when contacted, the Munitions Control Center stated that they follow ‘text book’ definitions, and because IEDs are not in their textbook they classify weapons according to those described in their textbook. He further stated the distinction between munitions which are victim-activated and those which are command-detonated is grey. They could not provide any information on the types and characteristics of explosive weapons in the incidents which they attributed to “antipersonnel mines” in their report.[12]

In the past, at least four NSAGs have used antipersonnel mines or victim-activated IEDs, including the New People’s Army (NPA), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). Five NSAGs, including the MILF, have formally pledged in writing not to use antipersonnel mines.[13]

 The peace talks between the government and MILF continued during 2012 and the first half of 2013, but talks stalled later in 2013.[14]

The NPA used command-detonated IEDs in 2012 and 2013.[15] Philippine authorities and the media continue to refer to these as “landmines.” The NPA (the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, CPP) signed a Comprehensive Agreement to Respect Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) with the Philippine government in 1998.[16] The CARHRIHL commits both parties to protect the civilian population by not violating the “right not to be subjected to...the use of landmines,” but does not define “landmine.”

Government and AFP officials accuse the NPA of violating CARHRIHL by using command-detonated mines.[17] The NPA has asserted that it manufactures and uses only command-detonated weapons allowed under the Mine Ban Treaty and, in its view, under the CARHRIHL.[18] In September 2012, it was reported that the MILF placed an order within their code of conduct to start actively fulfilling the obligations to ban possession, use, or production of antipersonnel mines or victim-activated explosive devices.[19] Also in September 2012, Geneva Call held a workshop on the Deed of Commitment at the Training Center of the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute.[20] This was followed by dissemination at 30 MILF bases to 3,184 combatants between October 2012 and March 2013 that was carried out by the General Staff of the MILF and the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies, in cooperation with Geneva Call.[21]


[1] Committee Information, 15th Congress, www.congress.gov.ph/committees/search.php?congress=15&s=bills&id=0525. Bill 04159 is an act providing for a total ban on antipersonnel landmines, for other prohibitions or restrictions on the use of landmines, booby-traps, and other devices, for the creation of a Philippine coordinating committee on landmines, and for related purposes. In May 2009, the government told other States Parties that it hoped the law would pass before national elections in May 2010. However, the bill which received its first hearing in March 2009 remained at the Technical Working Group level as did previous bills, since 2000, because of other priorities. See Landmine Monitor Report 2010, and Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 621. The bill would comprehensively prohibit victim-activated antipersonnel mines and implement both the Mine Ban Treaty and Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Amended Protocol II.

[2] Philippine Comprehensive Law on Landmines, www.senate.gov.ph/lis/bill_res.aspx?congress=15&q=SBN-1244. Previous bills were SBN 1936 and SBN 1595, filed by the same senators on 17 September and 3 December 2007, respectively.

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 14 September 2012, covering the period of 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2012, www.unog.ch/80256EDD006B8954/%28httpAssets%29/4884D49D58DD2AEDC1257A7C0053544E/$file/PHILIPINES+2011.pdf.

[5] Previous reports submitted on 16 April 2010;31 March 2007;  3 November 2006; 9 May 2005; 15 February 2004; 14 May 2003; 5 April 2002; 12 September 2001; and, 12 September 2000.  There was no report covering the year 2007.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, 14 September 2012, www.unog.ch/80256EDD006B8954/%28httpAssets%29/4884D49D58DD2AEDC1257A7C0053544E/$file/PHILIPINES+2011.pdf. This included 207 M18A1 and 64 M18A2 Claymore antipersonnel mines.

[7] See, for example, Zaff Solmerin, “Troops overrun NPA land-mine factory,” Business Mirror, 12 March 2012, www.businessmirror.com.ph/; and “Philippine troops seize NPA weapons factory,” Mindanao Examiner, 1 April 2011,www.mindanaoexaminer.com/news.php?news_id=20110331234209.

[8] Statement by Erlinda F. Basilio, Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 3–4 December 2009.

[10] Email and telephone interview with Brig. Gen. Noel Miano, Commander of the Munitions Control Center of the Armed Forces, 4 and 15 April 2013.

[11] Philippine statement by Amb. Evan P. Garcia, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the UN in Geneva and Head of the Philippine Delegation to the “12th Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction,” Geneva, 3–7 December 2012, www.apminebanconvention.org/meetings-of-the-states-parties/12msp/what-happened-at-the-12msp/day-1-monday-3-december/statements/?eID=dam_frontend_push&docID=15603.

[12] Telephone interviews with Brig. Gen. Miano, Commander of the Munitions Control Center of the Armed Forces, 22 and 23 August 2013.

[13] The MILF, the Rebolusyonaryong Partidong Manggagawa-Mindanao/Revolutionary People’s Army (RPMM/RPA), the Rebolusyonaryong Partidong Manggagawa-Pilipinas/Revolutionary People’s Army (RPMP/RPA) faction of Nilo de la Cruz, and the Marxista-Leninistang Partidong Pilipinas/Rebolusyonaryong Hukbong Bayan (MLPP/RHB) signed the Rebel Group Declaration of Adherence to International Humanitarian Law on Landmines of the Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines. The MILF, the Revolutionary Workers Party of the Philippines/Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade, and the Revolutionary Workers Party of Mindanao/Revolutionary People’s Army signed the Deed of Commitment under Geneva Call for Adherence to a Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines and for Cooperation in Mine Action.

[14] “Philippine gov't resumes peace talks with MILF,” People’s Daily (Xinhua), 9 July 2013, english.peopledaily.com.cn/90777/8317076.html; and “Government accuses leftist rebels of designing ‘unending’ peace talks,” Sun Star, 12 June 2013, www.sunstar.com.ph/breaking-news/2013/06/12/government-accuses-leftist-rebels-designing-unending-peace-talks-287064.

[15] “Philippines: Rebel Landmine Use on Rise,” Eurasia Review, 9 April 2013, www.eurasiareview.com/09042013-philippines-rebel-landmine-use-on-rise/.

[16] CARHRIHL, Part III: Respect for Human Rights, Article 2(15), 16 March 1998. The government considers use of command-detonated devices as well as any type of landmine as banned by CARHRIHL, while the NPA considers only use of victim-activated devices banned, www.sulongnetwork.ph/new/sites/default/files/CARHRIHL.pdf.

[17] See for example, Rudolf Ian G. Alama, “Army denounces use of landmines,” Philippine Information Agency, 7 August 2012, r11.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=1541344322479; and “Military deplores rebel attack,” Sun Star, 23 July 2011, www.sunstar.com.ph/tacloban/local-news/2011/07/23/military-deplores-rebel-attack-168567.

[18] Malu Cadeliña Manar “NPA denies using landmine in attack,” Sun Star, 29 January 2013, www.sunstar.com.ph/davao/local-news/2013/01/28/npa-denies-using-landmine-attack-265297. See also Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 623.

[19] Email from Katherine Kramer, Asia Director, Geneva Call, 2 October 2013. General Order No. 3 incorporates obligations under the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment into their internal rules and processes.

[20] “Geneva Call, MILF conduct Training of Trainers for Deed of Commitment,” LURAWAN, 2 September 2012, sites.google.com/site/humanrightspromotions/human-rights-armed-conflicts-updates/genevacallmilfconducttrainingoftrainersfordeedofcommitment. MILF General Order No. 3 “prohibits all BIAF officers and members to own, possess, keep, use, manufacture, stockpile, utilize, Victim-Activated Anti-Personnel (AP) Mines and other victim-activated explosives anywhere and at all time.” This training is a follow up to an MILF agreement to incorporate the ban on antipersonnel mines into its internal rules following a March 2010 Geneva Call-issued report on allegations of antipersonnel mine use by the MILF. According to the report, “The mission team found that AP [antipersonnel] mines had indeed been used, but was not able to identify the perpetrators; however it was considered that MILF forces may have been involved in some of these incidents.” See Landmine Monitor Report 2010 and Landmine Monitor Report 2011.

[21] Email from Katherine Kramer, Geneva Call, 2 October 2013.