Mine Ban Policy
Commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty
Mine Ban Treaty status
National implementation measures
16 April 2010
Draft implementation legislation was reintroduced in February 2011
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.
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, pending first reading. 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 111 and SBN 1244 but has not moved since then.
As of October 2011, the Philippines had not submitted its annual Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report due 30 April 2011. Its previous Article 7 report covered calendar year 2009. It did not submit a report in 2009 or 2008, but provided eight previous reports.
The Philippines participated in the Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in November–December 2010, where it made a statement on cooperation and assistance. The Philippines also became the co-chair of the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction in 2011.
The Philippines is a State Party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines.
Production, transfer, stockpiling, and use
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. In December 2009, the Philippines told States Parties that all landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) recovered from non-state armed groups (NSAGs) are destroyed immediately. The AFP and the Philippine National Police annually provide the Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL) with data on incidents in which explosive weapons have been used, including information on device type, seizures and recoveries, the number and names of casualties, and whether they were killed or injured.
Non-state armed groups
In the past, at least three rebel groups have used antipersonnel mines or victim-activated IEDs: the New People’s Army (NPA), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). Five rebel groups, including the MILF, have formally pledged in writing not to use antipersonnel mines.
The Monitor could not identify any specific instances of use of antipersonnel mines (victim-activated explosive devices or booby-traps) by NSAGs during the reporting period (since May 2010). In its previous Article 7 report covering 2009, the Philippines reported that the AFP investigated “various instances of use of Anti-Personnel Mines by Armed Non-State Actors” in 2009, but the report does not comment on any findings.
Insurgent groups continued to use command-detonated IEDs in 2010 and 2011. IEDs are frequently referred to as “landmines” by Philippine authorities and media. In particular, authorities frequently refer to command-detonated improvised Claymore-type directional fragmentation weapons as “antipersonnel mines.” Geneva Call, a Swiss-based NGO, organized a workshop for Mindanao-based journalists to improve accuracy in reporting landmines and landmine incidents.
The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, signed a Comprehensive Agreement to Respect Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) with the Philippine government in 1998. 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 have consistently accused the NPA of violating CARHRIHL by using command-detonated mines. The NPA asserts that it manufactures and uses only command-detonated weapons allowed under the Mine Ban Treaty and, in its view, the CARHRIHL. In some cases, attacks with these weapons have killed or injured civilians, and there was one report in 2010 of the NPA employing a child combatant to use such mines.
The Philippine Government and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA agreed to two ceasefires, one for 19 days in December 2010 and another for seven days in February 2011, in support of formal peace talks in Oslo. A government official was reported to say that landmine use by the NPA would be on the agenda for the Oslo meeting. The PCBL welcomed the government plan to take up the contentious issue on the use of landmines when its peace panel would meet with them in Oslo.
IEDs as well as the components and explosives for their manufacture, such as detonating cord and wire, Claymore canisters, gins of super dyne explosive bombs, and blasting caps, were all recovered in Kalinga, Laguna, Rizal, Batangas, Aurora, Quezon, Oriental Mindoro, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate Luzon, Samar, Eastern Samar, Capiz, Iloilo in the Visayas, Davao City, Davao Oriental, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, and Misamis Occidental from 1 June 2010 to 21 February 2011. These IEDs and their components have been attributed to the NPA. The AFP also reported the recovery of components for explosives from the MNLF in Sulu in May 2010.  Other incidents involving IEDs were attributed to political rivalry and extortionists.
In March 2010, Geneva Call issued a report on allegations of antipersonnel mine use by the MILF, which signed the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment banning use of antipersonnel mines in 2000. 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.” The MILF agreed to cooperate with Geneva Call. The government of the Philippines and the MILF signed guidelines to allow the PCBL and Foundation Suisse de Deminage (FSD) to engage in clearance to support community rehabilitation in conflict areas in Mindanao in May 2010.
Geneva Call has also conducted trainings to clarify the scope of the Deed of Commitment for members of the Revolutionary Workers Party of Mindanao/Revolutionary Peoples’ Army (RPM-M/RPA) and for two factions of the Revolutionary Workers Party of the Philippines/ Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayo Brigade (RPM-P/RPA-ABB).
 HB 04159 is 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 the creation of a Philippine coordinating committee on landmines, and for related purposes. For more information see www.congress.gov.ph. 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 on 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 Philippine Landmine Bill refers to House Bill No. 1054 and Senate Bill No. 1595. The bill would comprehensively prohibit victim-activated antipersonnel mines and implement both the Mine Ban Treaty and Convention on Conventional Weapons Amended Protocol II.
 Previous bills were SBN 1936 and SBN 1595, filed by the same senators on 17 September and 3 December 2007, respectively.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 16 April 2010. The cover sheet states that Forms B, C, D, E, F, G, and H are not relevant to the Philippines. Previous reports were submitted: 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.
 See, for example, “14IB discovers NPA’s war materiel cache,” Samar News, 10 December 2010, www.samarnews.com; “Philippine troops seize NPA weapons factory,” Mindanao Examiner, 1 April 2011, www.mindanaoexaminer.com.
 Statement by Erlinda F. Basilio, Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Second Review Conference, Mine Ban Treaty, Cartagena, 3–4 December 2009.
 Maj. Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, J3, “Landmine Incidents, 01 April 2010 to 21 February 2011,” AFP, Manila, 28 February 2011.
 See Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 622.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form I, 16 April 2010.
 For example, a September 2010 news release by the government detailed an event where the army “found a planted anti-personnel landmine along the trail… Lt. Col. Ruben C Agarcio, commanding officer of the 75th Infantry Battalion, said that the anti-personnel landmine, an improvised explosive device, … was composed of 68 sticks of dynamite worth of P40, 800 which is made of Superdyn explosive sealed in a plastic container (20 liters capacity)… and had “a 1,000-meter radius blast effect.” “4ID troops find planted anti-tank landmine in Tagbina, Surigao del Sur,” Philippine Information Agency, 8 September 2010, www.pia.gov.ph. Antipersonnel mines are defined by the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty as “a mine designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person.” Claymore-type mines used in command-detonated mode (usually electrical ignition) are not prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty, but use in victim-activated mode (usually with a tripwire) is banned.
 Geneva Call, “Annual Report 2010,” p. 21. The location and date of the event were not provided to the Monitor.
 CARHRIHL, Part III: Respect for Human Rights, Article 2(15), 16 March 1998, hdcentre.org. 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.
 See for example, Jaime Laude, “CPP dares military to file case over landmines,” Philstar.com, 28 January 2011, www.philstar.com; and “Military deplores rebel attack,” Sun Star, 23 July 2011, www.sunstar.com.ph.
 See Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 623.
 “15-year-old suspect in landmine blast falls in Ncotabato,” GMANews.TV, 16 March 2010, www.gmanews.tv.
 See, for example, Christine O. Avendaño and Cynthia Balana, “Season of joy starts with gov’t-NPA truce,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 17 December 2010, newsinfo.inquirer.net; Frinston Lim, “Women grieve over land mine deaths,” Inquirer Mindanao, 26 February 2011, newsinfo.inquirer.net; and Maj. Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista, “Landmine Incidents, 01 April 2010 to 21 February 2011,” AFP, Manila, 28 February 2011. In this hard copy report from the AFP, two soldiers were reported as wounded in action, one civilian was killed, and four civilians were injured.
 “CPP, AFP declare ceasefire,” Pilipino Express, 27 February 2011, www.mb.com.ph; and Dona Pazzibugan, “AFP, NPA agree to truce during talks,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 15 February 2011, newsinfo.inquirer.net.
 Ben Call, “Gov’t to raise landmine issue in peace talks with Reds,” Manila Bulletin, 2 January 2011, www.mb.com.ph; and Joyce Panares, “Govt, Reds explore peace prospects,” Manila Standard Today, 14 January 2011, www.manilastandardtoday.com.
 Delfin Mallari Jr., “Group welcomes inclusion of ‘landmine issue’ in peace talks,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2 January 2011, www.allvoices.com.
 See “Philippine troops seize NPA weapons factory,” Mindanao Examiner, 1 April 2011, www.mindanaoexaminer.com; and Maj. Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista, “Landmine Incidents, 01 April 2010 to 21 February 2011,” AFP, Manila, 28 February 2011.
 Maj. Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista, “Landmine Incidents, 01 April 2010 to 21 February 2011,” AFP, Manila, 28 February 2011.
 Geneva Call, “Investigation in the Philippines finds evidence of AP mine use; MILF responsibility not established,” Press release, 26 March 2010, Geneva. The mission investigated two individual incidents and two series of incidents. It found that victim-activated improvised explosive devices had been used in both series of incidents, and use was probable in one of the individual incidents. It said that for one of the series of incidents, there were “substantial grounds for concluding” that MILF forces were involved, and reached a similar conclusion for the probable incident. The delegation consisted of three members, from Geneva Call, Mines Advisory Group, and the Free University of Brussels. Geneva Call, “Communication: Geneva Call Verification Mission in the Philippines finds evidence of AP mine use, but MILF responsibility not established,” 26 March 2010. See also, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 16 April 2010, Form J.
 Geneva Call, “Annual Report 2010,” p. 21 At the release of the report which took place on an MILF base in Mindanao, the “MILF confirmed that they had accepted the recommendations contained in the report, to incorporate the AP Mine Ban into the organization’s Code of Conduct, and to cooperate with Geneva Call in respect to dissemination within its ranks.”
 Jose Rodel Clapano, “Government, MILF agree to destroy landmines,” Philstar.com, 19 May 2010, www.philstar.com; Gabriel Mabutas, “Gov’t-MILF pact to remove landmines hailed,” Manila Bulletin, 12 May 2010, www.mb.com; and “Philippine rebels agree to remove landmines in south,” Reuters, 23 April 2010, www.reuters.com.
 Email from Katherine Kramer, Program Director, Asia, Coordinator on Landmines and Other Explosive Devices, Geneva Call, 15 April 2011. Also in Geneva Call, “Annual Report 2010,” p. 21. No dates or locations of the trainings were provided.