2 minors recruited by the CTG surrender to 4ID in Surigao del Sur, CTG lambasted for violating IHL again

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – The 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division task initial custody of 2 minor CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) after surrendering with their firearms on December 3 and 4, at the Headquarters of the 75th Infantry Battalion, Brgy Magroyong, San Miguel Surigao del Sur.

The surrenderers were identified as alias Je-an, 16 yrs old, Medic of Squad 2, Platoon 2, Guerilla Front 30 (GF30) of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC), bringing along an AK47 Rifle and four (4) magazines loaded with 50 rounds of cal. 7.62mm ammunitions and alias Joy, 17 yrs old, a member of Squad 3 of SRSDG Southland, NEMRC, also brigning along an AK47 Rifle, and two (2) magazines loaded with 11 rounds of cal. 7.62mm live ammunitions. They voluntary surrendered to Lt Col Jelson D Buyuccan, Commanding Officer of 75IB that is under the 401st Brigade.

Major General Romeo S Brawner Jr, 4ID Commander, lauded the 75IB for actually receiving the minors from CTG exploitation and for ensuring Je-an and Joy’s safe return to their respective families. He lambasted the CNT leaders for continuously recruiting minors and dragging them into an armed struggle where children must not take part.

“Je-an was recruited when she was 14yrs old, while Joy was then 16 yrs old. Clearly, the CNTs have no regard of the children’s welfare by continuously exposing them to grave danger especially in the company of armed men, deceiving them thru false promises and exploiting their innocent young minds,” MGen Brawner Jr said.

Per 4ID records, alias “Je-an” and “Joy” are the 71st and 72nd child soldiers who were rescued by the government troops. The 75IB shall work with the concerned Municipal Social Welfare Development Office (MSWDO) to officially turn over the minor CNTs for proper disposition.

“We shall file a case against the CTG leaders who recruited Je-an and Joy in clear violation of RA 9851 (Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity). We will also refer this case to the CHR so that these terrorists will be held fully accountable and responsible under the international humanitarian law,” MGen Brawner Jr further stated.

Je-an revealed that she sought the help of the soldiers under the 75IB because her mother has always been crying lately and begging her to leave the terrorist group. She added that she decided to run away because of exhaustion, hunger, and fear for her life, being always on the run, due to the relentless military operations in the area.
While alias Joy was recruited when she was a 3rd year student of the Alternative Learning Center and Development (ALCADEV), a CTG front organization. She laid low after being wounded in an encounter with the troops of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion at Sitio Paradise, Brgy Magsaysay, Prosperidad, Agusan Del Sur on December 18, 2020.

“We appeal to the CTG to stop recruiting minors. The CTG has totally disregarded the IHL which clearly defines therein the prohibition of utilizing children in an armed conflict. Children must at all times be protected and to let them enjoy their youth with their family and friends,” MGen Brawner urged CTG.

“Unlike the CNTs who exploit children, your Army together with different LGAs and LGUs under the E-CLIP committee will take good care of Je-an, while Joy will be referred to Camp Evangelista Station Hospital for proper medical treatment of her wound. The E-CLIP benefits shall give Je-an and Joy better times free from violence and terror that the CTG had exposed them to,” MGen Brawner Jr said.

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