MANILA, Philippines – Two children believed to be child warriors of the New People’s Army (NPA) have been turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Northern Samar, the military said yesterday.
2Lt. Kris Bestes, acting civil-military operations officer of the Army’s 20th Infantry Battalion, said a 16-year-old girl named Olay and her younger brother Noynoy were turned over to social workers in San Isidro, Northern Samar last Wednesday.
The two minors were provided with livelihood assistance worth P10,000 each by the San Isidro municipal government and will also undergo counseling, too.
Bestes said the two children, along with other minors, were recruited to the NPA last month by a certain Jerome, who is reportedly operating in San Isidro town.
Bestes said the minors were brought to an NPA camp in a mountainous area of Barangay Mabuhay in San Isidro where they were indoctrinated with communist ideology.
“While inside the camp, they were not permitted to go home. They were threatened by the group that if they would inform the military regarding the activities, their family would be killed,” Bestes said.
The minors were supposed to take their oath as regular NPA members last July 2. This, however, was preempted after troops of the Army’s 20th IB raided the rebels’ camp. –Alexis Romero The Philippine Star