/ 12 September 2021

THE PHILIPPINE Army confirmed the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front continues to violate children’s rights after the  88th Infantry Battalion captured three child soldiers in  an encounter last Sept. 8 in Barangay Mabuhay, San Fernando, Bukidnon.

The clash involved more or less 20 guerillas from Platoon 1 of Guerilla Front Malayag of the Sub Regional Committee 2 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee in a forested area.

The 4th Infantry Division said it rescued 10 rebels composed of six males and four females, three of whom are minors while the rest are members of Indigenous Peoples, two of them were wounded during the clash.

The three child soldiers  were aged 11 years old (male), 17 years old (female), and 18 years old (male).

Maj. Gen. Romeo S.  Brawner Jr., commander of the 4ID, decried the NPA’s wanton violation of the children’s human rights and the International Humanitarian Law in recruiting minors without regret and dragging them to join the armed struggle.

He said the child soldiers are fortunate that government troops were able to rescue them from the violent path and communist terrorists’ exploitation by utilizing them for a violent cause even at their young age.

“The   NPA   allowing   minors   to   be   with   the   group   of   armed   men   have   clearly disregarded the safety and welfare of the children,” Brawner said.