National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesman Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. on Monday said there should be a regulation for the use and sale of materials being used to create locally-manufactured landmines, which are allegedly being used by communist rebels.
Parlade made the suggestion after citing a report of a "poor fisherman" who was accosted for carrying 114 sacks of ammonium nitrate, which is one of the ingredients in creating the landmines.
"Many materials used in landmines are off the shelf... but if we can regulate use and sale of these materials especially if di ka construction company possibly pwedeng malimit ang production ng landmine and IEDs na ito (if you are not from a construction company possibly we can limit the production of these explosives). This should be discussed," Parlade said during the government's anti-insurgency task force online forum on anti-personnel landmines.
"Ayaw natin magkaroon ng access ang civilians sa ammonium nitrate... We have to do something to regulate ng pagmanufacture ng bombang ito (We can't allow access for civilians on ammonium nitrate. We have to do something to regulate the manufacturing of these bombs.)," he added.
For Armed Forces of the Philippines Center for Law of Armed Conflict director Brigadier General Joel Nacnac, there should be a national campaign for a ban on using anti-personnel landmines.
"This will be a key to give awareness to our countrymen," he said in Filipino.
NTF-ELCAC's forum was launched in the wake of the Masbate landmine attack which killed college football player Kieth Absalon, 21, and his relative Nolven.
According to Human Rights Watch, the use of anti-personnel landmines are prohibited in the Philippines under the Mine Ban Treaty.—Consuelo Marquez/LDF, GMA News