Reg’l ELCAC condemns NPA exploitation of children

Reg’l ELCAC condemns NPA exploitation of children

ILOILO CITY – Authorities said the Communist Party of the Philippines New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) has shown its true color as a terrorist group following the testimony of a young member on the sexual exploitation and sexual abuses committed by their leaders and several members.

The Western Visayas Regional Task Force-Ending the Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF ELCAC 6), in condemning the act, said on Thursday the CPP-NPA “holds no regard for the basic rights of a child”.

The statement released through task force spokesperson Flosemer Chris Gonzales added that the group “is an organization that tolerates acts of injustices and promotes sexual opportunities and objectification of women and children”.

Gonzales said the testimony revealed three “undisputed facts”: First, the “terrorist group deliberately recruits children” and make them as child warriors; second, they are trained to use firearms, make anti-personnel mines, to shoot and kill policemen, soldiers, and civilians whom they suspect to be enemies; and third, minor female recruits “suffer sexual exploitation and abuse from their own leaders and peers”.

“In view of these glaring facts, the CPP-NPA leadership and their legal fronts remain blind, deaf, and dumb to the plight of these female children whose lives are ruined by the despicable acts committed against them by the very same people who brainwashed them with the lofty and deceitful promises of a ‘just and equal society’ under the CPP-NPA,” she added.

On Tuesday, the 16-year old alias “Nene” prepared her sworn statement that would be used as the basis for the filing of cases and complaints before the Commission on Human Rights.

In a press conference that was held on the same day, it was revealed that there were nine other members of the NPA who are pregnant and wanted to leave the organization but are fearing for their lives.

Col. Joel Benedict Batara, commanding officer of the 61st Infantry Battalion (61IB) of the Philippine Army, said the information about the pregnant women had been relayed to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Just like Nene, they have been indoctrinated. But we want to reach them out through other people so the true information and services of the government will reach them,” Batara said.

He said all the processes they would take will be in coordination with the DSWD.

The CPP-NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

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