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HomeFront PageCHR - X confirms NPA recruitment of minors 

CHR – X confirms NPA recruitment of minors 

BY CRIS DIAZ, Executive Editor

CLAVERIA, Misamis Oriental – The military on Thursday claimed that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Northern Mindanao confirmed allegation of recruitment of minors as combatants of the NEW people’s Army (NPA).

The military quoted reports that cited two cases, reported to the CHR-X, about Grave Child Rights Violation (GCRV) allegedly committed by the NPA.

Lt. Vincent Mark C. Maddul, the Civil Military Officer of the army’s Claveria – based 58IB, said that the CHR reports were substantiated by minors who were recruited as NPA combatants.

He said that a 16-year-old female minor identified only as “Alias May” told the military that she was then a high school student from Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental when recruited by the NPA to join the insurgency movement with a promise of a brighter future.

Maddul said that two days after May surrendered, 12 rebels also surrendered on November 8, 2020 telling the military that eight of them were still minor when they were recruited sometime in 2016.

Like May, the 12 surrenderers decided to return to the fold of the law after realizing the indecision, hunger and hardship that they suffered while with the rebel movement, Maddul said.

Lt Col Ricky L Canatoy, 58IB Commanding Officer, said that “the nine surrenderers were considered children involved in armed conflict (CIAC) because they were recruited when they were still below 18 years old an, therefore, minors.”

Canatoy said that the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict have been incorporated into our domestic laws and considered it as grave child rights violations
Under the GCRV, the recruitment refers to the compulsory, forced, or voluntary conscription or enlistment of children into the armed group, he said. 

He said that as an active member of the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the United Nation Country Task Force for Monitoring and Reporting (CTFRM) of grave child rights violations, the CHR X has reported the two cases of GCRV to the Child Rights Center of the Philippines.

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