The Philippine Army expressed its condemnation on Saturday against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) for recruiting minors as combatants and Militia ng Bayan members in the Northern Mindanao and Caraga Regions.
In a statement, 4th Infantry Division commander Major General Franco Nemesio Gacal said that the presence of NPA child warriors is very alarming and everybody must take urgent action to stop the recruitment of school children.
“It is a clear violation of Rule 136 of the [International Humanitarian Law] which prohibits the recruitment of minors by any armed groups involved in hostilities. I urge everyone, especially the parents, to take care of your children and together let us protect their future, our future generation,” Gacal said.
Previously, the military reported that soldiers from the 29th Infantry Batallion wounded and rescued 19-year-old Rex Antonio during an encounter in the hinterlands of Barangay San Isidro, Santiago in Agusan del Norte on 2 November.
He was allegedly recruited by the NPA when he was 17 years old.