Army rescues 2 minors recruited by NPA in Guihulngan: Left wing extremism

NEGROS ORIENTAL, Aug. 20 (PIA) –- Philippine Army troopers of the 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB) have rescued two female minors who were recruited by the Communist New People's Army (NPA) Terrorist during this week’s encounter at the hinterland barangay of Guihulngan City.

According to Community Military Officer Capt. Kelvin Bayaban of 303IB, the female minors, whose names are withheld for their security and safety, were rescued by troops of 62IB after a series of encounters with the armed NPA members at Sitio Maluy-a, Brgy. Sandayao in Guihulngan.

Bayaban said the two female minors together with Rennel Marosino aka Bikbik were cornered by the troops and abandoned by the withdrawing NPAs after their temporary hideout was overwhelmed by elements of 62IB.

In an interview, the two minors pointed to aka Bikbik and aka James as the ones who enticed and deceived them to join the NPAs.

The children are removed immediately from the encounter site by helicopters to keep them safe, said Bayaban.

After being airlifted out of the danger areas, the rescued minors were turned over to the local police and social welfare personnel of Guihulngan City to undergo trauma counselling. 

The incident prompted the City Government of Guihulngan, headed by Mayor Jorge Joan Reyes, to strongly condemn the terroristic acts of the NPAs.

Reyes is deeply saddened to learn that children are being recruited to fight a battle that they do not even fully understand, families are being pushed to war, parents ending up in jail, brothers separated and fighting up in different places, and infants being orphaned.

It was noted that such unnecessary sacrifices are heavy burdens imposed on the people of Guihulngan City by the NPAs who do not even care whether they live or die.

Lt. Col. Melvin Flores, 62IB Commanding Officer, in his statement said “the rescued minors are clear proof that this is how the NPAs value the lives of people, as their sacrificial lambs, ruined the children’s future, lie to their advantage.” 

He added that "opposite of their black propaganda against the government troops, the rescued minors who were deceived into joining the NPA terrorist group, are treated well by the soldiers and taken cared of by proper government agencies like the PNP and DSWD to undergo further counselling and stress orientation.” 

Meanwhile, Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade Commander, said that "the incident is a clear proof that the LPC-NPA-Central Negros Guerilla Front is a top violator of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (HR-IHL) despite their claims of being pro-people.”

“It also show their adeptness in fabricating lies to deceive the people. However, the people of Negros is aware of their vicious lies and twisted propaganda stories to cover up their HR violations and terroristic evil doings especially the recruitment of minors. Protect your community, spare your children from these terrorist groups who continue to deceive and lead our youth in the armed struggle, eventually ruining their lives and their future,” Pasaporte cited.  

The Philippine Army brigade urged the public to contact them for any information regarding the presence of armed groups or NPAs in their areas through its hotline numbers: (Globe) 09567414044 and (Smart) 09300072305. (jct/PIA7 Negros Oriental with reports from 303rd Infantry Brigade)




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