MARAMAG, Bukidnon (PIA)–Three young female rebels from indigenous peoples (IP) group surrendered to the Army’s 88th Infantry “Maringal” Battalion at South Poblacion, Maramag, Bukidnon.
These minors were identified as alias Anika, 16 years old; alias Jasmin, 17; and alias Saylyn, 16 years old.
They were all members of Platoon 3 under Company Malayag led by aka Migs/Ho/Kim Banawan of Sub-Regional Command 2, North Central Mindanao Regional Command.
Anika and Jasmin are residents of Sitio Kasilaan, Barangay Nala, San Fernando town, while alias Saylyn is from Sitio Alimpulos, Barangay Cawayan of the same town in Bukidnon province.
During custodial debriefing, these minors of Manobo tribe narrated their miseries while in the hands of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) who recruited them a year ago.
Alias Saylyn said “Gi-recruit ko sa 15 anyos pa ko tungod sa akong amahan nga ni-fulltime nga NPA. Kalisod ug kagutom lang ang akong nasinati-an sa ilang mga kamot. Nagtoo ko nga mahayahay ang akong kahimtang pero mas naglisod man hinoon pag-ayo kay nagsige lang mi ug lakaw kay ang mga sundalo dili man mohunong sa paggukod sa amo ug wala pa gayod mi’y makaon.” (I was recruited at age 15 because of my father who was also a fulltime NPA member. I experienced hardships and hunger with them (NPA). I thought my life would be better once I join the group. But my life was in agony. We kept on trudging along hills and mountains in extreme hunger just to flee from the soldiers).”
Lt. Col. Franklin F. Fabic, Commanding Officer of 88IB, welcomed the surrenderees who turned their backs from the CPP-NPA.
He said the communist terrorists are ruining the youths’ future who are the hope of our nation.
“To all the parents please take good care and monitor the activities of your children. To all the youths, don’t be a victim of these wicked communist ideology, it will waste your life. We will help these minors to file a case against the perpetrators in court specifically on the recruitment of children under the age of 18 years old into an armed force or group other than the national armed forces under Section 4c (24ii) of RA 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law or IHL; Genocide; crimes against humanity; and other violations of the laws.” Ltc Fabic added.
The 88IB Commander reiterated his reminder to the CPP-NPA leaders and members that the government forces are serious in fulfilling the people’s will to end insurgency in the country. (88IB, PA/PIA10)