One of the three child warriors allegedly captured by the army
By Arwen Pascua
MANILA — The Philippine Army (PA) has confirmed the violation of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) the children’s rights after the 88th Infantry Battalion captured three (3) child-soldiers in an encounter against more or less twenty CNTs of Platoon 1 of Guerilla Front Malayag of the Sub Regional Committee 2 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee on September 8, 2021, in Brgy. Mabuhay, San Fernando, Bukidnon.
The 4ID said they ‘rescued’ 10 rebels composed of six males and four females, wherein three are minor and seven are members of indigenous peoples (IPs), two of them were wounded during the clash.
Through the assistance of Ms. Rebecca C. Marva, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer of San Fernando, Bukidnon, the three (3) child-soldiers were 11 years old male; 17 years old female; and 18 years male.
Maj. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr., the Commander of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, has decried the NPA’s wanton violation of the children’s human rights and the International Humanitarian Law in recruiting minors and without regret dragged them to join the armed struggle.
He said that the child-soldiers are fortunate that government troops have caught them as they were eventually rescued from the violent path and exploitation of the CNTs utilizing them for a violent cause even at a young age.
“The NPA allowing minors to be with the group of armed men have clearly disregarded the safety and welfare of the children,” Brawner said.