CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: Two minors, both combatants of the outlawed New People’s Army
(NPA), yield to the military in Bukidnon, a report reaching here said Tuesday.
Lt. Sancho S. Tomaquin, Jr. spokesperson of the army’s 88IB based in Maramag, Bukidnon identified the NPA combatants only as “Ruffa” and “Job,” both 15 years old.
Tomaquin said that the minors were regular members of the Guerilla Front (GF) Malayag, Sub-Regional Committee 2 (SRC2) of the North Central Mindanao Regional Party Committee (NCMRC).
He said that the minoes surrendered Monday and confirmed reports that the NPA’s were engaged in the recruitment of children as part of the NPA regular combatants.
“Ruffa” and “Job” told the military that a certain “Jun-jun” recruited them under pretext of hiring them as factory workers in Quezon, Bukidnon.
Tomaquin said that instead of bringing them to Quezon, a group of armed men met the minors in the hinterlands and prevented them from leaving.
Although they were afraid of joining the NPA’s armed group, the minors could not do otherwise because of fear, Tomaquin said.
“Fatigue, hunger and lack of sleep were among the reasons that minors they decided to escape and surrender to the military authorities,” Tomaquin said.
L/Col. Christian James P. Vingno, the commanding officer of the army’s 88IB, accused fhe NPA of violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) for the recruitment and the arming of minors.
Vingno said that the army’s 88IB jas taken custody of the minors in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to undergo interview and stress debriefing for enrollment to the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).-0-