Under-aged CAFGU also died in an NPA ambush in Surigao del Sur*
KA MARIA MALAYA
NDF - North-Eastern Mindanao Region
June 20, 2011
A 16-year old CAFGU member under the 29th IB was killed when the NPA ambushed a unit of the enemy forces patrolling within NPA territory on June 7, 2011, 8 a.m., at Purok 5, San Isidro, Lianga, Surigao del Sur. A regular member of the 29th IB, Pfc. Tagiliran, also died in the same incident while a certain Pfc. Gacayan was wounded.
The said CAFGU named “Peryong” (not his real name) was born on June 25, 1994 and will turn seventeen this month. He is the son of Pablito Espinosa, Jr. and Maricel Espinosa, who both reside in Brgy. Lawis, Lianga, Surigao del Sur. We are saddened that CAFGU recruit who is a minor figured as a casualty in the said ambush, which would not have happened had the AFP strictly adhered to international laws of war prohibiting recruitment of minors.
We vehemently condemn the continuing violations committed by the AFP against international laws of war, the Protocol II of the Geneva Conventions, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children. Explicit in the said laws and Conventions is the prohibition for children aged 15-17 to be recruited to any armed group.
For its part, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines has directed that no young person who has not reached the age of 18 shall be recruited to the New People’s Army (NPA). The Northeastern Mindanao Region has been strictly following this policy.
Children in our society have become victims to various forms of exploitation, such as child labor, sexual abuse and prostitution, illicit drugs, criminality and so much more. To have them conscripted as mercenaries, especially use them to help quell the people’s aspirations for liberation and democracy, is a grave violation of children’s rights.
We call on the youth to form their own legitimate organization to defend their rights and to help develop their knowledge and skills. We also call on young people aged 18 and above who are physically and psychologically fit, brimming with patriotism to join the New People’s Army (NPA).
It is only through your participation in the people’s democratic revolution that we can have a bright future.
“To the youth, the world belongs to you and to us, but in the final analysis, it is yours.”