October 9, 2021
The New People’s Army – Negros Island strictly adheres to the Declaration and Program of Action for the Rights, Protection and Welfare of Children of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) that protects and defends children’s rights and welfare “especially with the current worsening violations of the rights of children under the US-Duterte regime.”
This was the rejoinder of the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command (AGC-NPA) as it addressed 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) Commander MGen. Benedict Arevalo’s accusation that “the NPA Negros is exploiting minors as child warriors.”
AGC-NPA spokesperson Ka Juanito Magbanua debunked the allegation saying that an alias “RR” does not exist in any NPA unit in Negros and the alleged 10 minors recruited by the NPA was also false.
He added that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) wanted to smear the image of the NPA particularly in Negros Island through deceptive statements. “All these fake news propagated by the 3ID to the media is meant to discredit the NPA,” Magbanua said.
He referred to Arevalo as a master butcher and spinner of intrigues and lies and forewarned of the spread of fake news and disinformation; pervasive violations of human rights; and rampant fake surrenders, illegal arrests and trumped-up charges, and massacres, bombings, extrajudicial killings and torture among others in Central and Western Visayas.
No bright future under rotten system
In its statement, the AGC-NPA stated that “children, most of them from the peasants and farm workers, urban poor and other oppressed classes and sectors, have no bright future under a rotten and oppressive semicolonial and semifeudal system bereft of their basic right to education, sufficient food and proper nutrition and a decent home.”
What is worse is they have become victims of the brutal counterrevolutionary campaign of the AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) in the past regime up to the present, it added.
Magbanua stressed that children have a right and legitimate reason to take part in the revolution, however, they cannot join the NPA unless they reach legal age.
“Membership in the NPA is based on political consciousness, hence, it is open to all revolutionary forces including the youth who is 18 years old and above,” he clarified.
He further explained the the duty of all revolutionary forces which is to strengthen and advance the people’s democratic revolution and heighten the people’s war to strategic stalemate up to victory.
Military propaganda has no credibility
He also remarked that the military’s propaganda suggesting “people are led astray and every recruit of the NPA are given false promises” have no credibility.
“Regardless of the military’s effort to put the NPA in a bad light, the people will prove the deception of the AFP/PNP,” he said.
He recalled the 94th Infantry Battalion’s (94IB) brutal murder of Erming Kisan at Sitio Dala-upon, Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City who, afterward, was tagged as an NPA member allegedly killed in an encounter between the military and Red fighters.
“The [incident] remains fresh in the minds of the people in the area who knew Kisan was a member of the IP (or indigenous peoples) and was a native there,” he added.
He further commented: “At present, the 94IB troops of the AFP are exploiting minors with the same purpose. The enemies deception will surely backfire and further expose themselves. It is certain that they will garner failure and condemnation from the people.” ### (Negrosrevportal)
Ka Juanito Magbanua