CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - The 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division of the Philippine Army urges the youth to stand up against the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) recruitment of minors.
Based on 4ID records for the period 2016 to 2019, the CTGs were recruiting minors as young as 12 years old. The average age of recruits in Northern Mindanao and CARAGA Regions is 17 years old.
Just recently, a 16-year old New People's Army (NPA) member named Litboy Binongcasan was killed in an encounter with the troops of the 23rd Infantry “Masigasig” Battalion at the hinterlands of Brgy. Manila de Bugabos, Butuan City. He was recruited when he was just 14-years old.
His mother Genelyn Binongcasan emotionally said, “Nganu man gi-rekrut sa NPA akong menor-de-edad nga anak? Kung wala nila ni ma-rekrut, makatabang pa unta ni sa amoa bisan pa man nga mag-uuma lang mi, hapsay nga namuyo.” (Why did the NPA recruited my minor son? If they haven’t recruited him, he might have been able to help our family even if we are just farmers, living peacefully.)
MGen Franco Nemesio Gacal, 4ID Commander said, “The CTGs are destroying not just the lives of the minor combatants but also our nation’s future. In time for the National Human Rights Consciousness Week, it is high time for the youth to stand-up against the Human Rights violations of the CPP-NPA-NDF and one of them is their recruitment of minors.”
Gacal also urges the parents to take action against the vicious cycle of NPA recruitment to save the precious lives of our Filipino children. (4ID, PA)
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