The Eastern Mindanao Command slammed the New People’s Army for continuing to use child combatants in the attempt to overthrow the government.
Just recently, a 16-year-old surrendered to authorities in St. Peter, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon on Nov. 16.
“This is a clear gross violation of children’s rights. Do not rob their future. Allow them to explore their potential freely and let children be children,” Lt. Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr., commander of Eastern Mindanao Command, said.
Santos identified the teenager as alias Bulaw, who was part of the communist group that is operating in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. In his surrender, he brought with him an M1 Carbine rifle and a hand grenade.
Accordingly, he was recruited to be part of the regular NPA guerrilla unit after he was indoctrinated by a youth group. He tried to leave many times but became afraid when the threats came. After five months, he saw a chance to escape and took it.
The minor was endorsed to the local social welfare office for assessment.