2 child warriors yield to Eastmincom; kin to sue NPA
By Che Palicte / Philippine News Agency
DAVAO CITY – Two female members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA), both minors, surrendered to military troopers in separate instances, the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) said Monday.
In a statement, Lt. Gen. Greg T. Almerol, Eastmincom commander, identified the surrenderers as alias Je-ann, 16, medic of Squad 2, Platoon 2, NPA Guerrilla Front 30, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC), and alias Joy, 17, a member of Squad 3, NPA Sub-Regional Sentro De Grabidad Southland, NEMRC.
Joy and Je-ann surrendered to the Army troopers of the 75 Infantry Battalion in Barangay Magroyong, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur on Dec. 3 and 4, respectively.
During her surrender, Je-ann turned in her AK-47 rifle with four magazines and 50 rounds of ammunition.
Joy, on the other hand, handed over to field troopers her AK-47 firearm with two magazines and 11 rounds of ammunition.
“(Joy) disclosed that she went in hiding after she sustained a wound during an encounter with the troops of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion at Sitio Paradise, Barangay Magsaysay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur on Dec. 18, 2020,” Almerol added.
He said both minors disclosed that they decided to surrender after realizing that they do not have a future in the hands of their leaders and that they wanted to start a new life enjoying their youth free from hunger and fear.
Almerol said that families of the two minors intend to file charges before the court and the Commission on Human Rights against the NPA leaders for violation of Republic Act 9851 or the “Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity” and the International Humanitarian Law.
“Our troops will assist the families in fast-tracking the filing of charges so that justice will be served against those who are responsible,” he added.
He said they will continue to conduct intensified combat operations all over Eastern Mindanao to capture the evading NPA members as part of its goal of ending the local communist armed conflict by 2022.
“We are determined to finish the job that we started without compromising the International Humanitarian Law. Our sustained operations are evident in our series of accomplishments as more than anything else, we intend to walk the talk,” Almerol said.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)