AFP kills another minor on the heels of Int’l Day for the Protection of Children

Coni Ledesma, Head of the NDFP Special Office for the Protection of Children (SOPC)

Just a few days after the International Day for the Protection of Children on June 1, the Marcos Jr. regime and the fascist Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have once again laid bare their war against Filipino children and youth with the brutal killing of a 16-year-old Grade 9 student Kuni Cuba in Sultan Kudarat, southwestern Mindanao last June 9.

Kuni was on his way back home together with a sibling and two friends when soldiers from the 7th Infantry Battalion of the AFP ordered the shot. To cover up their war crime, the AFP planted a M1 Garand semi-automatic rifle beside Kuni’s corpse to portray him as a member of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Kuni’s family belied the AFP’s claim and asserted Kuni was just an ordinary student whose dream to finish his studies was extinguished by the fascist military.

The AFP not only violated all known customary international laws by killing a 16-year-old and falsely claiming him as a so-called ‘child soldier,’ but also violated the Geneva Convention for desecrating Kuni’s corpse.

The AFP’s excuse that the boy was a member of the NPA is nothing more than a cynical and reprehensible attempt to justify their barbarity. This is not the first time the AFP has resorted to such tired, hollow rhetoric to mask their human rights abuses, and it is clear that under the Marcos Jr. regime, children’s rights violations and the disregard of international humanitarian law are systematically perpetuated.

This tragic incident is a stark reminder of the systemic violence and impunity that is the hallmark of the Marcos Jr. administration. While the rest of the world celebrates the protection and upliftment of children this June, the Philippine puppet state under Marcos Jr. has chosen to continue its campaign of terror against its own people, targeting even the most vulnerable and defenseless.

We call upon the international community to condemn this atrocious act and demand justice for Kuni and his family. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his AFP troops must be held accountable for their continuing war crimes. The blood of the innocent stains their hands, and no amount of propaganda can cover up their mounting atrocities.