Human Rights Day a fitting reminder of NPA’s violations on minors, says 4ID commander
DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental—As Human Rights Day is observed on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, Major General Franco Nemesio Gacal, commander of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, continues to slam the recruitment of minor combatants by the New People’s Army (NPA).
Gacal said through a statement that based on the record this year, 63 minors were allegedly recruited as commandants by the NPA.
“The HR day celebration is a fitting reminder on the five decades of the NPA’s persistent violations of Human Rights and RA 11188,” Gacal said. “The NPA leadership must be held accountable and must be punished in order to put an end on this cycle of violations.”
Republic Act 11188 is otherwise known as the Special Protection of Children in Situations of Armed Conflict Act.
Gacal said that majority of the minors recruited by the NPA were rescued by the government troops through negotiation that led to their surrender. Unfortunately, some were killed during encounters with the government forces.
In fact, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said it will investigate the death of a 16-year old grade six pupil from Gingoog City, who was an alleged NPA combatant. The minor was killed in an encounter between the troops from the 23rd Infantry Battalion last November 30, 2019 in Sitio Salvacion, Barangay Manila de Bugabos, Butuan City.
With this, Gacal is asking parents to keep an eye on their kids.
“Children’s right must be protected by all means, I urge the parents, local government units and agencies and peace loving citizens of Regions 10 and Caraga to protect our future generation and stand firm against CNTs (Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA Terrorists) recruitment of minors,” Gacal said.
To recall, Malacanang on Monday, December 9, 2019, also criticized the recruitment of child warriors by the NPA. /bmjo
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