MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to control the sale and use of explosives in mining operations.
In a taped address late Monday, Duterte said he wanted explosives to have clearance from police and military before they are sold and used to prevent them from being used by communist rebels in attacks against government forces.
“I’m going to direct the DILG, nandito si Secretary [Eduardo] Año (is there). Iyang mga IED ng komunista, ipasok ko na lang lahat. Iyang mga IED ninyo, komunista, saan ninyo kinukuha ‘yan? Sige nga. Where do you get your explosives, powder? Karamihan diyan galing sa mina (Where do they get their EID? Most of them come from mining),” he said.
“It must be cleared by the police and supervised strictly. And then when you go to the area, go to the commanding officer of the military there and let him know that you have bought these explosives para may ma -- ‘pag ginamit na ninyo ‘yan, mabantayan (so that when you use them, they can be monitored),” he added.
According to Duterte, the sale and use of explosives must be controlled because they cause serious injuries or deaths to police and military.
“Itong pabili ng (The purchase of) explosives, dynamites, must be controlled, talagang higpitan ni General Año (will be strict) and the commanding officer of the area nasa (in the) military must be informed so that he will also have a -- he would know how to check,” he said.
He said communist rebels would always find a way to justify the use of explosives.
“When you use it, it’s okay. But when you -- you use it to kill military men, government personnel, police, okay. Gusto naming maglagay ng landmine rin pero ang problema, bawal (We want to use them for landmines but it’s not allowed). Government cannot violate the laws. Kayo, wala man kayong pakialam sa laws (You, you don’t care about laws),” he said.
In 2018, Duterte ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to revoke licenses of mining companies supplying explosives to communist rebel groups.
A year earlier, he threatened to close down mining companies paying revolutionary taxes to the New People's Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. (PNA)