BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte, Nov. 14 -- Another two female members of the New People's Army (NPA) who are minors voluntarily surrendered to the 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion (23IB) in the months of September to October 2019.
The two surrenderees were identified as alias "Gethel" (Political Guide), 17 years old and alias "Christine" (Medic), 17 years old. They were recruited by alias "Ron-ron," a member of Sub-Regional Command (SRC) 3, SAGAY, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) through black propaganda regarding the present situation of the country. They were deceived and promised to be given a brighter future including their families once they join in their group.
Prior to the recruitment, these two surrenderees were studying, but they were not able to finish their studies because of the exploitation, deception and manipulation of the NPAs.
They were not clearly informed that they will be joining the armed movement. Contradictory to their promises, they only suffered from loneliness, exhaustion and starvation until they find an opportunity to escape from the said group.
Meanwhile, Gethel expressed her resentment against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army Terrorists (CNTs). "I was a student by the time I was recruited by the CNTs. Due to the hardship and hunger I experienced inside the movement, I decided to go back to the folds of the law. I am also afraid to lose my dreams, future and precious life because of the continuous military operation. At first, I was afraid because our leader told us that there's a big possibility that the military will torture and kill me upon knowing that I am an NPA member, but I stand firm with my decision. I am so glad that the soldiers of 23IB never fail to help me and they assisted me to start a new life," she said.
Moreover, Christine also revealed the struggle she encountered inside the armed movement. "I didn't know that I am going to be a member of CPP-NPA. My parents also do not know that I became a member of the NPA. We were not allowed to visit our parents and even prohibited us to contact them. Later, I knew that my family received a death threat telling them that once they will report to the authorities regarding my situation, they
will be killed. They were also forced to leave our home and stay away from our barangay," she recalled.
Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Molina, Jr., commanding officer of 23IB continuously reminds the youth to be vigilant to the alarming NPA recruitment. "Some of the leaders of the NPA have already surrendered to the folds of the law, but it was so alarming that even the female youths are also fighting against the government troops just like what happened to Gethel and Christine. They were recruiting the young ones to be victims of their false ideology and these innocent youths will be suffering their entire life being enslaved by the CNT leaders. The recruitment of the youth is a big violation to the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Republic Act 7610 (Special Protection of Children against Abuse Exploitation and Discrimination Act)," he said.
Molina further reminded the youths to become active peace advocates towards a brighter future. "Be vigilant! Do not fall victim to their trap," he added. (1Lt. Roel T. Maglalang, CMO Officer, 23IB, PA/PIA Agusan del Norte)