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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Surigao: CTGs Continue To Recruit Minors And Exploit Indigenous People In Bukidnon

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Maramag, Bukidnon โ€“ Three (3) NPA regular members including one (1) child-soldier of HQ Loader Sub-Regional Committee 2 (SRC2) of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) voluntarily surrendered to the elements of Alfa Company of 88th Infantry Battalion bringing along with them one (1) Carbine Rifle with One (1) magazine and nine (9) live ammunition at Sitio Malantao, Barangay Halapitan, San Fernando Bukidnon on October 04, 2021. The said surrender came as a result of the unitโ€™s continued campaign against the said terrorist group in the mountainous areas of Pantaron Mountain Ranges, covering Malaybalay City, San Fernando and Cabanglasan Bukidnon.

Man Oloron alias BRIGHT, 56 years old a Political Guide and his party wife Nili Salobo alias AYA, 55 years old together with their 11 year old son alias POWER became CTG members because of the promises that their living condition will be uplifted and that they will have a prosperous life if they become members of the CTGs.

Over fatigue, hunger, lack of sleep and realizing that everything is just a deception are among the reasons why they finally decided to return to the folds of law and abandon the armed struggle. They further disclosed that continuous focused military operation by the Philippine Army in their known guerilla bases had caused them to be always on the run which prevented them from doing organizing works in their target barangays.

The 11 year old minor was turned over to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office of San Fernando, Bukidnon to undergo interview and stress debriefing. The continuous recruitment of our youth to be child-soldier and exploiting IP communities is a proof of CTGโ€™s disrespect to Human Rights and a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law.
LTC CHRISTIAN JAMES P VINGNO, Commanding Officer of 88IB in his statement said: โ€œThe comprehensive conduct of Community Support Program (CSP) and the focused military operation of government troops have been instrumental in the rapid disintegration of the NPA formation. This is a clear indicator that we are near in ending this 52-year of local communist armed conflict.โ€ I strongly deplore the NPAโ€™s act of recruiting minors to be combatants and exploiting our IPs. This is a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The unit in close coordination with the PNP will be filing IHL case against the CTG for recruiting minors. I am also calling the attention of all the parents, let us monitor our children from being recruited by the NPAs, Vingno added.
It can be recalled that the government troops figured in a series of encounters with the members of GF Malayag, SRC2, NCMRC in the municipality of San Fernando and Valencia City on 08 September and 10 September 2021, which resulted to four (4) CNTs Killed and 12 Captured including four (4) minors had been rescued. Since 2018 on the data gathered of 88IB, a total of twenty-one (21) minors had been rescued by government troops from the CTG.

(Source: 88th Infantry “Maringal” Battalion, Philippine Army Facebook page)

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