NPA terrorists recruits minors as child warriors

Tago, Surigao del Sur – Army’s 36 th Infantry (Valor) Battalion, Philippine Army have validated that the CPP-NPA terrorist is recruiting minors as NPA red fighter after the recent clash at Brgy Cancavan, Carmen, Surigao del Sur last May 19, 2019.

The security operations by the Army resulted to four (4) CNT killed wherein one (1) was immediately identified as Dylan Ghem Padilla Jimenez alias Gareb, 18 years old, a resident of Brgy Adlay, Carrascal, SDS who was found wounded and rushed by the troops to the hospital but was pronounce dead on arrival by the attending physician. According to the mother of Dylan, her son left home when he was still 17 years old and was recruited by the NPA as a regular fighter.

The CPP-NPA Terrorist are held liable in violation of RA No. 9851 or an act defining and penalizing crimes against international humanitarian law, genocide and other crimes against humanity, organizing jurisdiction, designating special courts, and for related purposes, it prohibits the recruitment and participation of children in arm conflict. In which the state values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights, including the rights of indigenous cultural communities and other vulnerable groups, such as women and children.

Further, the CNTs recruitment of minors are in violation of the “Special Protection of Children in Situations of Armed Conflict Act” or Republic Act. No.11188. Under the law, children are declared as “Zones of Peace” which must extend beyond territorial or geographical oundaries. The law recognized that children are entitle to dignity and respect as human beings in need of protection from degradation and to prevent the recruitment, re-recruitment, use, displacement of, or grave child rights violations against children involved in armed conflict.

In his statement, LTC XERXES A TRINIDAD INF (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer, 36IB, PA stated that “it is a clear manifestation that the CNTs are recruiting minors to participate in an armed conflict in pursuit of their disillusioned cause. Evidently, the CNTs violated the rights of children to live peacefully and should not be allowed to take part in the hostilities. The CNTs leadership must be held accountable and liable for this act of crimes against minors. We will facilitate the filing of appropriate charges to this action of the CNTs.”

“We call on the peace loving people of Surigao del Sur to condemn this act of crimes of the CNTs. Let us protect our children at all cost. To the remaining CNT, stop recruiting and exploiting minor. Surrender now and return to the fold of the law and avail the government’s Enhance Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), LTC Trinidad added.