CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – A simultaneous flag raising ceremony was conducted early this Monday morning in the whole area of the Army’s 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division in observance of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Day 2019 today, September 9.
The activity was spearheaded by MGen Franco Nemesio Gacal, Commander 4th ID, together with the officers and men of the Cagayan de Oro City based Division. As part of the program, the Diamond troopers conducted a pledge of reaffirmation of commitment and support for the International Humanitarian Law led by BGen Oliver Vesliño, the Assistant Division Commander.
The message of President Rodrigo Duterte as read by MGen Gacal said, “In this year’s commemoration, we continue to impress upon everyone the Philippine government’s committed adherence to the guiding principles of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL), while addressing the threats to national peace and security. This commitment is summed up in this year’s theme, “IHL: Protecting the Defenseless in Times of Armed Conflict.”
Along with the celebration of the IHL Day, the 4th ID warned parents on the revelations of former rebels that the Communist New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) are recruiting minors as young as 12 years old while the average age of recruit in Northern Mindanao and CARAGA Regions is 17 years old.
MGen Gacal, said that they are alarmed and wary with the latest data based on the result of the 4ID Custodial Debriefing Reports from 2016 to 2019. The recruitment of minors is a clear evidence of the continuous violations and deceptions of the CNTs.
It can be recalled that Alias Lalaine and Dina confessed last August 30, during the Talakayan sa PIA 10 in Cagayan De Oro City, how they were recruited inside the school premises by Front Organizations of the CNTs.
@Lalaine said, “Una ko narecruit samtang gaeskwela ko sa Cagayan de Oro College, padayon pa ang pagpangrecruit sa mga eskwelahan dire sa dakbayan sa CDO kay ang mga kabatan-onan ang sumbanan aron mamahimong Cadre sa NPA.” (I was first recruited while studying in Cagayan de Oro College. The recruitment is still ongoing inside the schools in this City because the youth are the ones who will become Cadres of the NPA.)
“We are urging the parents to take action and protect your children because the CNTs will continue to recruit and destroy the future of our younger generation. Let us work together to end the vicious cycle of recruitment of the NPAs to save the precious lives of our Filipino children,” Gacal ended.