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Country Reports
PHILIPPINES, Landmine Monitor Report 2005


Key developments since May 2004: National implementation legislation was filed in the House in August 2004 and the Senate in November 2004. The rebel New People’s Army continued to use command-detonated mines and improvised explosive devices; it denied using victim-activated mines. There were also reports of continued antipersonnel mine use by the Abu Sayyaf Group. Following a resumption of fighting for the first time since 1996, a commander with the Moro National Liberation Front-Misuari group acknowledged using antipersonnel and antivehicle mines. In 2004 a significant increase in the number of new mine casualties was reported.

Mine Ban Policy

The Republic of the Philippines signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997, ratified on 15 February 2000, and the treaty entered into force for the country on 1 August 2000.

Despite several initiatives, no domestic legislation has been passed to implement the treaty.[1 ] Most recently, in November 2004, Senator Juan M. Flavier filed a landmine ban bill in the 13th Congress. Senate Bill 1861, entitled the Philippine Comprehensive Law on Landmines, is based on draft legislation provided by the Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL). It aims to encompass the Philippines’ compliance with both the Mine Ban Treaty and Amended Protocol II of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). The bill passed its first reading on 24 November 2004 and was referred to the Senate committees on national defense and finance. Senate Bill 1861 is the same as House Bill 2675, which the Akbayan party filed on 31 August 2004.[2 ] The House bill passed its first reading on 9 September 2004 and was referred to the Committee on Public Order and Security. As of September 2005, neither the Senate nor the House bill had been called for a public hearing, the next step in the approval process.

At the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Nairobi in November-December 2004, the Philippine representative provided details of the proposed legislation, noting it calls for establishment of a Philippine Coordinating Committee on Landmines to coordinate and monitor compliance and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty and Amended Protocol II.[3 ] The Philippines also acknowledged the importance of the work of the ICBL Non-State Actors Working Group co-chaired by the PCBL.[4 ]

The Philippines submitted its sixth Article 7 transparency report on 9 May 2005, covering the period from 15 February 2004 to 15 February 2005.[5]

The Philippines has not participated in any of the Mine Ban Treaty intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva since May 2003, missing sessions in February and June 2004 and in June 2005. The Philippines has not engaged in the extensive discussions that States Parties have had on matters of interpretation and implementation related to Articles 1, 2 and 3. Thus, the Philippines has not made known its views on issues related to joint military operations with non-States Parties, foreign stockpiling and transit of antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes or antihandling devices, and the permissible number of mines retained for training.

The Philippines is party to the CCW and its Amended Protocol II on landmines. It attended the Sixth Annual Meeting of States Parties to the protocol and submitted an Article 13 national report on 8 October 2004.

The Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL) has been actively monitoring the government’s implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty, as well as engaging non-state armed groups active within the Philippines in a landmine ban. PCBL served as co-chair of the ICBL Non-State Actors Working Group until December 2004, and was instrumental in organizing a workshop on non-state actors during the First Review Conference.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) set up an exhibit on the Mine Ban Treaty at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Camp Aguinaldo during August 2005, as part of activities celebrating International Humanitarian Law Month.

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling and Use

The Philippines may have been a minor producer of antipersonnel mines in the past.[6 ] It has never exported mines. It imported Claymore-type directional fragmentation mines from the United States. The Philippines declared that it disposed of its entire inventory of antipersonnel mines (2,460 Claymore mines) in July 1998, and that since then there has been no procurement or manufacturing of landmines by the AFP.[7 ] There have been some reports and allegations in the past that some soldiers, and former soldiers, still hold Claymore mines.[8 ] Claymore mines are prohibited under the Mine Ban Treaty when used with a tripwire (victim-activated mode), but are permissible when used in command-detonated mode.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines states that it has never used antipersonnel mines in its fight against the country’s communist and Moro insurgent groups. On 13 February 2005, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) alleged that the 502nd AFP Brigade had planted “self-detonating” mines in forested areas of Barrio Dicamay Uno (Jones municipality, Isabela province) in and around the scene of an ambush by the New People’s Army (NPA) on 24 January 2005. The CPP described “self-detonating” as meaning a mine that could be “triggered by any person or animal that steps” on it.[9 ] This allegation was refuted by the AFP, which stated that it is the CPP-NPA which uses landmines, based on army reports listing explosive materials recovered from the rebel group.[10 ] As of September 2005, the CPP/National Democratic Front had not replied to PCBL’s request for additional information and evidence about AFP mines in Isabela province.

The CPP has also alleged that US forces in the Philippines are giving Claymore mines to the AFP for use against armed opposition groups.[11]

Production, Stockpiling and Use by Non-State Armed Groups

New People’s Army (NPA): The armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front (NDF), the New People’s Army represents the largest and most active non-state armed group in the Philippines. The NPA has continued to use mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in 2004 and 2005. Most of the reported incidents and seizures appeared to involve improvised rather than factory-made mines. In its 36th anniversary statement, the CPP declared that IEDs can be used by “the people and the people’s army” against aggressor troops, in accordance with its effort to “develop the ability to make and use weapons that the Iraqi resistance is now using.”[12 ]

The NPA states that it only uses “command-detonated landmines directed at legitimate military targets” and claims that it detonates the devices upon sight of the enemy vehicle or military target, thereby ensuring that civilians and other non-military targets are not harmed.[13 ]Command-detonated mines are not prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty. The NPA admits to deploying command-detonated landmines around its camps, for defensive purposes only.[14 ] In February 2005, a CPP spokesman claimed the New People’s Army is strictly prohibited from using self-detonating (victim-activated) mines.[15 ] The CPP has also said that “landmines can be described as either self-detonating or command-detonated only upon deployment in either way and not while they are still in stock or in the armory.”[16 ]

AFP officials in Northern Luzon stated that an NPA explosives expert named Emmanuel Lorenzo Ruiz admitted that rebels were manufacturing landmines and revealed the location of the rebel camp in Isabela where weapons were being manufactured. According to the AFP, the rebel camp, code named Fortunato Camus Regional Operational Command, was located at the Bigao Complex on the boundary of San Mariano and Ilagan in Isabela province.[17]

There have been a number of landmine incidents in this reporting period where the NPA has been directly accused of being responsible for using antipersonnel and antivehicle mines. Some would appear to involve victim-activated mines. There have been a larger number of seizures of landmines and IEDs that likely belonged to the NPA. In February 2005, two AFP soldiers were injured when they stumbled upon an improvised landmine planted near an NPA base during an attack in Sitio Lamgawel (Bgy. Datal Blao, Columbio municipality, Sultan Kudarat province). Government troops recovered another landmine at the site.[18 ] Native Bilaan residents and former NPA soldiers later reported to the Army that landmines were planted around an NPA base camp.[19 ] In March 2005, two AFP soldiers were injured, apparently by an antipersonnel mine, in a battle at the NPA camp in Sultan Kudarat.[20 ] In April 2005, an Army spokesman accused NPA rebels of planting improvised antipersonnel and antivehicle mines in Surigao del Sur.[21 ]There were antivehicle mine incidents, most of which caused casualties, attributed to the NPA in July and August 2004, and March, April and May 2005.[22 ]

According to AFP records provided to Landmine Monitor, the AFP recovered approximately 46 mines and IEDs in 19 seizures between March and December 2004.[23 ] In all these cases, the mines were not attributed to a specific rebel group, but the NPA is known to operate in areas. Eleven seizures took place in Mindanao, the country’s southern island grouping, while six occurred in the northern region of Luzon, one in the central island region of Visayas, and one location was unknown. The devices recovered are listed variously as mine (3), AP mine (5), homemade AP mine (21), homemade landmine (1), improvised mine (3), IED (2), IED with landmines attached (3), improvised AV mine (1), Claymore (5), and homemade Claymore (2). In addition, 65 pieces of improvised explosives were recovered in Luzon on 20 October 2004.

In the first four months of 2005, the AFP recovered approximately 61 mines and IEDs in 19 seizures. Eleven seizures took place in Mindanao, six occurred in Luzon and two in Visayas. Included in the list are landmines (12), AP mine (1), improvised AP mines (12), improvised landmines (6), IED (1), CD mine (1), Claymores (18), improvised Claymores (2) and AV mines (8).[24 ] It is not clear how many, if any, of these devices recovered in 2004 and 2005 were victim-activated and not command-detonated.

As detailed in Landmine Monitor Report 2004, from May 2003 to May 2004, there were reports of six landmine-related incidents attributed to the NPA, which resulted in at least 35 casualties.[25]

Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF): The Moro National Liberation Front led an armed struggle from the early 1970s until 1996, when a peace agreement was reached with the government. In February 2005, the MNLF attacked the AFP in Sulu in reprisal for an alleged AFP massacre of a local Muslim family. Due to this and other concerns, the MNLF (Misuari group) has again declared a “state of war” with the Philippine government and resumed armed conflict in Sulu and in other parts of the southern Mindanao island group.[26 ] The AFP has stated that the MNLF-Misuari group is using landmines to protect itself from pursuing troops.[27 ] Based on reported incidents, it appears that MNLF-Misuari is primarily using antivehicle mines.

The commander of MNLF operations in eastern Sulu, Ustadz Habier Malik, has admitted that his forces have employed improvised antipersonnel and antivehicle landmines that detonate on impact or pressure in places where enemy forces and not civilians are expected to pass. Malik said that after an antivehicle mine almost destroyed a civilian vehicle, he ordered the removal of all planted landmines, but stated the weapons could be used again in case of war.[28]

MNLF sources have reported the following incidents. On 7 April 2005, a government tank struck a mine in Lanao Dakulah, Indanan, Sulu, killing four AFP soldiers and injuring another five.[29 ] On the same day, an armored personnel carrier was partially damaged after hitting a mine.[30 ] Also in April 2005, a mine explosion killed eight AFP soldiers, injured another 10 and destroyed their truck.[31 ] A month later five soldiers died when their AFP vehicle was destroyed by a mine with 18 kilograms of explosives in Lanao Dakulah, Indanan, Sulu.[32]

The commander of MNLF operations in western Sulu, Khaid O. Ajibon, has categorically denied that his forces have used mines, noting that the MNLF abandoned use of the weapon in 1976 and that he views mines as detrimental to local people. He further claimed the MNLF lacks the capacity to purchase manufactured landmines. Ajibon suggested that the Abu Sayyaf Group was probably responsible for the reported mine use.[33 ]

Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG): The AFP has accused the Abu Sayyaf Group, a radical Islamic armed group, of laying landmines and victim-activated IEDs in Mindanao and other parts of the country.[34 ] In September 2004, one AFP soldier was killed and seven injured when their vehicle hit a landmine reportedly laid by ASG in southern Jolo island in Sulu.[35 ] In January 2005, two landmines believed to be laid by the ASG prematurely exploded on a road at Talipao in Sulu, injuring a member of the Civilian Volunteer Organization; three more unexploded landmines were found during a subsequent investigation of the incident.[36 ] On 25 April 2005, two AFP soldiers were killed and another eight injured when their truck struck a mine during an ambush by ASG rebels in Maimbong town on Jolo. Four more soldiers were injured in another mine incident in the same province.[37 ]

Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF): There were no landmine incidents attributed to the MILF in this reporting period (since May 2004). In 2000 and 2002, the MILF became one of the first rebel groups to sign the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment, which requires a group to forego use or possession of antipersonnel mines.[38 ] However, at that time the MILF reportedly continued to use landmines and improvised explosive devices, deploying them around their camps or using them against AFP soldiers during pursuit operations. Ten mine incidents were attributed to the MILF in 2000 and early 2001. There were two other landmine incidents reportedly involving the MILF in 2003. The AFP attributed two landmine incidents in Central Mindanao to the MILF during the period from April 2003 to March 2004.[39 ] The MILF denied involvement in both incidents.

Other Groups: The Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas (Revolutionary Workers Party of the Philippines/Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade, RPMP/RPA-ABB), a breakaway faction of the New People’s Army, forged a cease-fire and a peace agreement with the Philippine government in November 2000. On 21 July 2002, it signed the revised and expanded Geneva Call Deed of Commitment in Metro Manila.[40 ] The Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Mindanao (Revolutionary Workers Party of Mindanao/Revolutionary People’s Army, RPMM/RPA) signed the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment on 11 September 2003.[41 ] There have not been any reports of mine use by either of these groups.

Landmine Problem and Mine Action

The Philippine government has indicated for several years that it does not consider any area of the country to be mine-affected. This view has been made known via all six of the Philippines’ Article 7 reports, which either omit Form C, “Location of mined areas”, or include it, stating “none” in “Areas that contain mines” (Table 1) and “Areas suspected to contain mines” (Table 2). In its Amended Protocol II Article 13 reports, the Philippines states that all mines and other explosive devices used by insurgent groups are immediately cleared by the AFP and police explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams.[42 ]

Mine risk in the Philippines is restricted to areas of ongoing conflict, where sporadic use of antipersonnel and antivehicle mines and IEDs by rebel groups occurs. There may also be some mines and other devices, which remain in a few localities, from previous armed conflict between non-state armed groups and government forces.

In February 2005, the Philippine Red Cross reportedly faced difficulties in reaching evacuees in eastern Sulu, because of landmines reportedly planted by rebels.  According to the Red Cross provincial administrator, explosives were discovered along the roads leading to affected villages in Luuk, Panamao, and Panlima Estino, Sulu, and this prevented the Red Cross from providing medical assistance to those who needed it.[43]

The Philippines has reported that it conducts 250 courses on an annual basis “in explosive ordnance disposal training and bomb threat prevention seminars to military and civilians alike from the threat of improvised explosive devices and landmines.”[44]

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, the Philippines must destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, and by 1 August 2010 at the latest.

Beginning in 2001, the Philippines Campaign to Ban Landmines put forward proposals to both the government and MILF for a joint demining operation in the areas of Mindanao, especially Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao. The government and MILF replied positively to PCBL’s proposal. In May 2004, the chair of the panel for the government side said that it would consider its integration into any ongoing peace process and suggested the PCBL play a role in the Joint Government-MILF Coordination Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) to pursue mine information dissemination and campaigning, and to locally anchor reporting systems on mine information.[45 ] The CCCH is the means by which the government and MILF work out the implementation and monitoring of a cease-fire agreement, in which the deployment of landmines is specifically listed as an act of aggression (cease-fire violation).[46 ] At the 28-29 June 2005 meeting of the CCCH in General Santos City, CCCH Chairman Brigadier General Ramon Santos stated that in the preceding period there had been no cease-fire violations.[47 ] The PCBL proposal was discussed at both the 8th meeting between the MILF and GRP under Malaysian auspices in Kuala Lampur in June 2005, and at the 28th meeting of the CCCH in General Santos City, but consensus on how to proceed was not achieved.[48]

The Philippines has not made any financial contributions to international mine action programs in this reporting period.

Landmine Casualties

There is no comprehensive data collection on landmine incidents in the Philippines and it is difficult to determine the exact number of mine casualties; however, data from various sources provides an indication of the scope of the problem. In 2004, there were at least 47 new landmine casualties, including 20 people killed and 27 injured; five survivors were civilians.[49 ] This represents a significant increase from the 21 new landmine casualties reported in 2003, including 10 people killed and 11 injured.[50 ]

Casualties continued to be reported in 2005, with at least 22 people killed and 32 injured in landmine incidents to May.[51 ] In one incident on 27 April, a 37-year-old farmer stepped on a landmine on Pata Island and severely injured his leg; his daughter and another companion were killed in the incident. In May 2005, the US military airlifted the farmer to Zamboanga hospital after he suffered from a gangrene infection in his leg because of the unavailability of transportation to adequate medical care. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had informed the US military of the situation.[52 ]

The total number of mine/UXO casualties in the Philippines is not known. Between 2000 and 2003, at least 41 people were killed and 87 injured in mine/UXO incidents, and at least 19 killed and 50 injured between 1991 and 1995.[53]

In 2004, there was also a report of an incident involving UXO, which killed a farmer and seriously injured his brother while they were plowing a field.[54]

Survivor Assistance and Disability Policy and Practice

AFP personnel and civilian casualties are taken to the nearest military or government hospital for immediate treatment.[55 ] The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has no specific programs for landmine survivors, but provides services to individuals and groups in crisis who seek assistance.[56 ] The DSWD has transferred its social welfare services to local government units, including rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities, whatever the cause of disability. The Department of Health supports prosthetics and physiotherapy services. The social welfare sector provides services, including psychosocial support to persons with disabilities, to assist with learning to cope with a disability and to live a normal and productive life.[57]

Although medical care is available, many civilians cannot afford it. ICRC provides both medical supplies and financial support to health facilities and civilians in Mindanao. In 2004, ICRC supported surgical treatment for 152 people, and distributed 29 prostheses, 19 sticks and crutches, two braces and seven wheelchairs.[58]

In 2004, Handicap International (HI) established an orthopedic workshop at Notre Dame Hospital in Cotabato City, central Mindanao, with support from the Japanese Embassy. Services at the center include counseling, physical therapy, and the provision of prosthetics, braces and wheelchairs to survivors of the internal conflict. Since opening, the center has supported 1,200 people and produced 80 prostheses, 50 orthoses and 60 wheelchairs. There is a waiting list of people in need of services.[59 ] In July 2004, HI volunteers visited one coastal village in Mindanao, where more than 30 people with disabilities were identified, including many war-injured. In early 2005, HI launched the Hilwai project, a specially equipped orthopedic boat that travels between islands in the Visayas to make customized artificial limbs and provide rehabilitation. Since the beginning of the project, 500 people received rehabilitation services, 48 prostheses and 12 orthoses were produced, and 20 wheelchairs distributed.[60 ]

The 1992 Magna Carta for Disabled Persons protects the rights of persons with disabilities in the area of rehabilitation, education, employment and integration in society, and prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability; however, implementing regulations are reportedly weak, and there is a lack of funding for programs.[61]

[1 ]Landmine ban bills were tabled in 2000 (House Bill 222), 2001 (House Bill 346), and 2003 (House Bill 6043), but were not acted upon as they were considered low priority.

[2 ]House Bill 2675 is entitled: “An 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 Creation of a Philippine Coordinating Committee on Landmines, and for Related Purposes.”

[3 ]Statement by Amb. Rosalinda Valenton-Tirona, Representative of the Philippines to Kenya, Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World (First Review Conference), Nairobi, 2 December 2004.

[4 ]Statement by Amb. Rosalinda Valenton-Tirona, First Review Conference, Nairobi, 2 December 2004.

[5] Previous reports were submitted on 12 September 2000, 12 September 2001, 5 April 2002, 14 May 2003 and 15 February 2004. Some reports were incomplete.

[6 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 421.

[7 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 397.

[8 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 671.

[9 ]“CPP condemns Philippine Army for planting landmines in Isabela,” Press Release by the CPP Information Bureau, 13 February 2005, www.philippinerevolution.org. A CPP spokesman deplored the danger posed to people by landmines “purposely planted” along trails used by farmers and said the AFP was “depriving the barriofolk of the right to make a living.”

[10 ]Written response to PCBL from Maj. Gen. Pedro Cesar C. Ramboanga Jr., Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, J3, Armed Forces of the Philippines, 4 June 2005. The PCBL letter of inquiry signed by Soliman M. Santos Jr., PCBL Co-Coordinator, was dated 28 May 2005.

[11] “Letter to Geneva Call Re: Deceitful Reports on the Use of Landmines,” from Fidel V. Agcaoili, Chairperson, Human Rights Committee, NDFP, 14 May 2005, http://home.wanadoo.nl/ndf.

[12 ]“Avail of the Worsening Crisis and Intensify the Guerilla Offensives to Advance the New Democratic Revolution,” statement by the CPP Central Committee, 26 December 2004, p. 14

[13 ]“NDFP Answers False Claims Against The Revolutionary Movement,” article by Ruth de Leon, Executive Director, International Information Office, NDFP, 21 January 2005, http://home.wanadoo.nl/ndf.

[14 ]“Letter to Geneva Call Re: Deceitful Reports on the Use of Landmines,” from Fidel V. Agcaoili, Chairperson, Human Rights Committee, NDFP, 14 May 2005, http://home.wanadoo.nl/ndf.

[15 ]“CPP condemns Philippine Army for planting landmines in Isabela,” Press Release by the CPP Information Bureau, 13 February 2005, www.philippinerevolution.org.

[16 ]“Letter to Geneva Call Re: Deceitful Reports on the Use of Landmines,” from Fidel V. Agcaoili, Chairperson, Human Rights Committee, NDFP, 14 May 2005.

[17] Len Espinosa, “Rebel admits making mines,” Manila Times, 15 April 2005, www.manilatimes.net.

[18 ]Bong Reblando, “2 NPA rebels killed by troops in S. Kudarat,” Manila Bulletin, 26 February 2005, p. 3; “Army overruns NPA camp in Columbio,” Sun Star Gen San, 28 February 2005.

[19 ]Short Text Message (SMS) to Landmine Monitor from Col. Alfredo Cayton, 601st Brigade Chief, Philippine Army, 10:25am, 26 February 2005. The Bilaans are an indigenous and non-Muslim tribe who mainly reside in Cotabato.

[20 ]“10 NPA rebels killed in Davao del Sur clashes,” Manila Bulletin, 17 March 2005.

[21 ]“4 NPA rebels slain, 5 gov’t soldiers hurt in fierce fight,” Manila Bulletin, 7 April 2005.

[22 ]Allen V. Estabillo, “Rebels attacked camp, soldier hurt,” Sun Star General Santos, 27 July 2004; Victor Reyes, “4 rebels killed in Kudarat,” Malaya News, 28 July 2004; “AFP slams NPA rebels for using landmines, minors in war vs gov’t,” Manila Bulletin, 16 August 2004; Joel M. Sy Egco, “Landmine kills 3 soldiers,” Manila Standard Today, 13 April 2005; Bernadette E. Tamayo, “3 soldiers killed by landmine,” Journal Group, 13 April 2005; Villamor Visaya Jr., “NPA denies land mines,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 8 May 2005; “5 soldiers wounded by land mine laid by communist rebels,” Journal Group, 12 May 2005.

[23 ]Matrix on Landmine Incidents and Recoveries (March 2004 to April 2005) provided to Landmine Monitor by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, AFP, 27 May 2005. More detailed notes on these incidents and sources are included in this document.

[24 ]Matrix on Landmine Incidents and Recoveries (March 2004 to April 2005) provided to Landmine Monitor by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, AFP, 27 May 2005. More detailed notes on these incidents and sources are included in this document.

[25] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 671-672.

[26 ]Mindanao Peaceweavers, “Sulu: State of War Calls for Peace,” Report of the Sulu Peace and Solidarity Mission, 27-31 March 2005, p. 3.

[27 ]“2 soldiers killed in landmine blast,” Sun.Star Publishing (Sunnex), 26 April 2005.

[28] Mindanao Peaceweavers, “Sulu: State of War Calls for Peace,” Report of the Sulu Peace and Solidarity Mission, 27-31 March 2005, p. 9.

[29 ]SMS to Landmine Monitor from unnamed MNLF source, Sulu, 6:37am, 9 April 2005.

[30 ]SMS to Landmine Monitor from unnamed MNLF source, Sulu, 6:42am, 9 April 2005. In what may be the same incident, the AFP reported that an armored personnel carrier traveling to Silangkan, Parang in Sulu exploded from a mine that injured three AFP soldiers. Matrix on Landmine Incidents and Recoveries (March 2004 to April 2005) provided to Landmine Monitor by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, AFP, 27 May 2005.

[31 ]Landmine Incidents in Sulu. Notes sent to Landmine Monitor by unnamed MNLF source, Sulu, 28 May 2005.

[32] SMS to Landmine Monitor from unnamed MNLF source, Sulu, 30 May 2005.

[33 ]Mindanao Peaceweavers, “Sulu: State of War Calls for Peace,” Report of the Sulu Peace and Solidarity Mission, 27-31 March 2005, p. 9.

[34 ]Bong Garcia, Jr., “Sayyaf using landmines, says Southcom chief,” MindaNews, 1 June 2005.

[35 ]“Philippine rebel landmine kills soldier, wounds 7,” Reuters (Manila), 29 September 2004.

[36 ]Matrix on Landmine Incidents and Recoveries (March 2004 to April 2005) provided to Landmine Monitor by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, AFP, 27 May 2005.

[37 ]Email from David Santos, ABS-CBN Zamboanga reporter, to Alfredo Lubang, PCBL, 26 April 2005; “2 soldiers dead in landmine blast in Jolo,” Agence France-Presse, 25 April 2005; “2 soldiers killed in landmine blast,” Sun.Star Publishing, Inc. (Sunnex), 26 April 2005; Bernadette E. Tamayo, “Land mine kills 2 soldiers,” Journal Group, 26 April 2005.

[38 ]It first signed in March 2000, then signed a revised and expanded Deed of Commitment in April 2002.

[39 ]Maj. Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, “Landmining Incidents, Calendar Year 2003,” 19 March 2004.

[40 ]The RPA-ABB and its party, the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas (RPM-P) signed an initial version of the Deed in Geneva in March 2000.

[41 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 673.

[42 ]CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Reports, Forms B and G, 17 November 2003 and 8 October 2004. See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 674, for AFP EOD capacity.

[43] “Warplanes pound rebel ranks; 3,000 civilians flee,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 10 February 2005, p. A18.

[44] Article 7 Report, Form I, 9 May 2005.

[45 ]Written response from Secretary Silvestre C. Afable, Jr., Chairman, Government Negotiating Panel for Talks with the MILF, 12 May 2004.

[46 ]Implementing Guidelines on the Security Aspect of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement of Peace of 2001: Article II Definition of Terms; 3.1.2

[47 ]Joint Statement, 28th meeting of the Joint GRP-MILF Coordinating Committees on the Cessation of Hostilities, 28-29 June 2005, General Santos City, Philippines.

[48] Letter from Mohagher Iqbal, Chairman, Committee on Information, Central Committee, MILF and Chairman, MILF Peace Negotiating Panel, 16 July 2005, to Atty. Soliman M. Santos Jr., acknowledges that the PCBL proposal was discussed in Malaysia and in the CCCH, that its confidence-building element was appreciated, but that no consensus was achieved.

[49 ]For more details, see Rebel Use section of this report; see also Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 675 for more details on casualties from January to May 2004.

[50 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 675.

[51 ]For more details see earlier section on use by non-state armed groups of this report.

[52 ]Ed General, “Landmine victim gets US Army help,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 7 May 2005, p. A19.

[53] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 674-675.

[54] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 675.

[55 ]For more information, see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 675.

[56 ]Email from Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan, Director IV, Technology Bureau, DSWD, 7 June 2005.

[57] Email from Ruel G. Lucentales, Assistant Secretary, DSWD, 6 June 2005.

[58] ICRC, “Annual Report 2004,” Geneva, June 2005, p. 164.

[59 ]Email to Landmine Monitor (HI) from Benjamin Gobin, Program Director, HI Philippines, 26 August 2005; see also Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 675.

[60 ]Email from Benjamin Gobin to Landmine Monitor (HI), HI Philippines, 26 August 2005; “War amputees get chance to stand on two feet again,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 5 August 2004, p. A1, A5; “Positive Progress: Special Rehabilitation Issue,” Newsletter of Handicap International, Issue 3, April 2004.

[61] US Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2004: Philippines,” Washington DC, 28 February 2005; see also “Magna Carta for Disabled Persons,” dated 24 March 1992, www.dredf.org/international/philippines.html.