Bancasi, Butuan City – “I was recruited as a Minor”, revealed by the wounded CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNT) who was treated and rescued by the Army soldiers after an encounter between the troops of the 29th Infantry Battalion under the 402nd Infantry Brigade and undetermined number of CNTs believed to be members of Sentro De Gravidad (SDG) 16, Guerilla Front (GF) 16 of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) yesterday, November 2, 2019 around 10 o’clock in the morning at the hinterlands of Barangay San Isidro, Santiago, Agusan del Norte.

The fifteen (15) minute firefight yielded two (2) firearms and various war materials and resulted to the killing of one (1) NPA and the capture of alias Kent, 19 years of age from Negros Oriental. He revealed that he was recruited as a minor by the CNT and deceived through false hope and bigger income by the CNTs. “17 pako atong marekrut ko isip myembro sa NPA. Apan bag-o pako nisampa, pipila na ka beses nga ila kong duaw-duawon aron makatambong sa mga pagtulun-an. Pobre lagi ta og nangandoy makasapi, misugot nalang ko nga moapil kay ilaha man kuno ko sweldohan og kana mag gikan sa mga minahan,” alias Kent said.

Also, alias Kent disclosed that the CNTs are targeting the youth for recruitment because they are idealistic, adventurous and can be easily swayed and agitated by issues against the government. The CNTs recruitment of minors clearly is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

Col Maurito L Licudine, Commander of 402nd Brigade said, “Kent is another addition to the proof that the CNTs recruit minors and have blatantly disregarded the International Humanitarian Law. While parents are working very hard to send their children to schools and raise them well, the CNTs take them away and make them as revolutionary fighters arming them with hatred against the government”.

“We deplore this unending IHL violations of the CNTs using children to advance their lost cause. CNTs must stop using the youth as they belong to schools and not in the company of armed terrorists. I call on to all Caraganons particularly the parents to monitor your children. Do not allow them to be recruited. Let’s join hands and together we can prevent our youth from wasting their lives”, Col Licudine added.

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