MARAMAG, Bukidnon, Dec. 10 --A team from the local government unit (LGU) of Kitaotao, National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Philippine National Police (PNP) rescued four sick children from the Bakwit in the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) Church Church in Poblacion, Kitaotao at around 8:00 A.M. on December 8, 2019.
The Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) organized the Bakwits from Sitio Dumasilag, Brgy. Sta Felomina, municipality of Quezon in Bukidnon and occupied the IFI Church, saying their presence there is the best way to pressure the government to pull out the military forces in their area.
Despite the recommendations of municipal doctors of Quezon and Kitaotao for the seriously ill children to be immediately admitted to the nearest hospital, the leaders and organizers identified as Teresa "Neneng" Antihaw and Datu Olmo Antugon, refused to let the children out of the compound as long as their demands are not met.
Lt. Col Franklin F. Fabic, commanding officer of 88th Infantry Battalion, commended the accomplishment of the government team in rescuing the sick children.
"I am proud that despite the resistance of organizers, the children were saved from danger. The safety of the children is our priority. These Bakwits are victims of deception and fake information by CPP-NPA-NDF organizers," he said.
"To the CPP-NPA-NDF, stop manipulating IPs communities in advancing your political agenda especially the children. Do not let the children suffer for your personal gains. They deserved a better life. Do not destroy their lives for they are future of our land," he added. (88IB,PA)