Official Press Release: NPA used ‘child warriors’, APMs in Surigao clash
Updated: Jun 17, 2021
By the NTF-ELCAC Media Bureau
Local communist terrorist group (CTG), New People’s Army (NPA), continues to use “child warriors” and anti-personnel mines (APM)- two items that are strictly prohibited under International Humanitarian Law (IHL)- in its deadly campaign to establish a communist government in the Philippines.
In a statement, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) said this was recently discovered after two separate clashes in Agusan Del Sur and Surigao Del Sur, where one minor was captured and three NPA combatants were killed. Also, a cache of firearms and explosives as well as other items used for bomb-making were recovered from the encounter sites.
“They (Communist Terrorist Group) are lying through their teeth again. They were quick to allege our troops of recklessly killing whom they claim to be just farmers and a minor student to hide the fact that they continue to exploit young children to become child warriors in their murderous bid to overthrow our democratic government. We caution the people against their black propaganda. The second encounter where the three were killed was based on information shared by the female minor who was captured in the first encounter in Agusan,” the statement added.
The first encounter happened in Barangay Mabuhay, Prosperidad town in Agusan Del Sur on June 14, 2021 when elements of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion of the 401st Infantry Brigade, who were conducting combat operations, chanced upon a group of around ten communist terrorists. The firefight resulted in the capture of a young female minor who goes by the alias “Cindy”, ten backpacks, three cellular phones and APM components.
The rescued minor is in the process of being turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Official reports indicated that “Cindy” revealed to government troops the location of their guerilla base, prompting the second firefight that occurred the following day, June 15, in Sito New Decoy, Barangay Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao Del Sur.
Teams of Army Special Forces were sent out to check the information given by “Cindy” and while en route to the guerilla base, they were fired upon by still undetermined number of CTGs who even detonated at least one APM. A ten-minute firefight ensued.
The Lianga clash resulted in the killing of three NPA fighters, one male and two females, including a minor. Likewise, several firearms, APMs and bomb components were recovered. The seized items include an AK 47 assault rifle; two caliber .45 pistols; two bandoliers for AK 47s; one claymore mine; two blasting caps; three anti-personnel mines; four magazines for AK-47; four magazines for M16 rifles with ammunitions; 25 meters electrical wire; 25 meters detonating cord; one firing device; and two backpacks.
The operating troops then brought the cadavers of the slain CNTs to Sitio Manluy-a also in Lianga.