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Parents ask help after teen boys recruited to become NPA fighters

Parents of three teenagers reportedly taken by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Laak town, Compostela Valley sought the help of authorities.

1Lt Amadeuz VJ Celestial, the Civil-Military Operations (CMO) officer of the 60th Infantry Battalion, said that following the clash between soldiers and communist rebels in Laak on Tuesday, they were approached by the parents of the three teenage boys who were allegedly recruited by the NPA.

The 60th IB, together with the local DSWD dispatch and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO) of Laak, gave assistance to the affected families.

Emerito Tanoko and his wife, Marife, said the NPA took their two sons about two weeks ago. The older one, Raymond, is 18 years old, while Patrick is only 16.

They claimed that they knew their sons were recruited by the NPA but couldn’t ask for help out of fear that the two boys would be harmed.

Larry Masalote, on the other hand, said Sherwin, 17, was also taken by the NPA together with the Tanoko children. He claimed that his son is a special child.

The clash last Tuesday between soldiers and rebels left one government militiaman dead. It also displaced residents who escaped to safer grounds to avoid getting caught in the crossfire. The local government and the DSWD gave aid to the displaced families.

However, some residents were worried because they left behind their livestock when they escaped. They were advised to stay in the evacuation center until their community is cleared by the military of NPA rebels.

At least 40 families affected by the incident are now staying at three evacuation centers of Barangay Ceboleda. The classes have also been suspended since Thursday to ensure the safety of the students.

Meanwhile, government troops are still in pursuit of the fleeing rebels.

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