Army Exec: NPA’s recruitment of minors is a terroristic act
ILOILO CITY, July 9 (PIA) — The Army’s 301st Infantry (Bayanihan) Brigade said that the recruitment of minors by the New People’s Army is a classic example of a terroristic act, as he called on parents to be more vigilant in looking after the welfare of their children.
Brigade Commander Colonel Marion Sison urged also the public to work with the Army here, who are working in Panay and Guimaras provinces.
“I believe no parent would like their child not to finish school, hold firearms, go to the mountains, and fight a senseless cause with strangers who do not care for their welfare,” Sison said.
He added “Would you like to see your children dead in an encounter because these terrorists recruited your children? If so, you are a failure as parents. Rich or poor, we all have the same hopes of a bright and safe future for our children.”
Sison likewise calls on educators to help in the protection and nurturing of the youth.
“As role models, you have a big impact on the growth of your students. You are the models they look up to. As second parents, you are among the frontliners of their defense, and we in the army are counting on you to help create a safe educational haven where they can grow away from violence,” he said.
This came after the death of Malvin Christian V Cruz also known as “LEAN/LUCAS” and Team Leader of Squad 3, Suyak Platoon, Southern Front, KomitengRehiyon-Panay in an encounter between the government troops and the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) at Sitio Lay, Brgy. Dalije, Miagao, Iloilo last June 29.
The 21-year old student, who started as campus activist and was molded into becoming an active member of the CTG, was a promising student of Bachelor of Science in Statistics Circa at the University of the Philippines Visayas –Miagao Campus in 2015-2016.
During this period, Cruz was an active member of the League of the Filipino Students (LFS) in the UPV Miagao Campus, and also a member of IBON Foundation, a Non-Government Organization (NGO).
Cruz, who was recruited into the NPA ranks at the age of 17 years old, and being an active member of LFS, used to join rallies and campaigns against the government to address educational issues, and alleged school repression.
Sison said that the NPA’s recruitment of minors as child warriors to take part in their armed struggle is a clear violation of Rule 136 of the International Humanitarian Law and Republic Act 11188 or the Special Protection of Children in Situations of Armed Conflict Act.
“The loss of another youth in the senseless communist armed struggle more than underscores the relevance of the signing of the Anti-Terrorism bill into law,” he said.
He added that it highlighted the need for such measures “so that our youth will be protected from the clutches of the communist terrorists.”
Meanwhile, Sison and the entire Bayanihan Brigade expressed condolences to the bereaved family of Cruz.
“We send our prayers and condolences to Cruz’s family and loved ones, rest assured, your army in Panay, and Guimaras will continue its mandate to serve and secure people against these terrorist groups,” he said. (JBG-PIA6/With report from 1Lt Hazel Joy Durotan/ CMO-301Bde)