The Army’s 10th Infantry Battalion (IB) has rescued an alleged child warrior of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Misamis Occidental.
Lt. Col. Ray Tiongson, commanding officer of the 10th IB, said alias Bentong, 14 years old, was rescued in Sitio Lamak, Barangay Mansawan, Don Victoriano Chongbian in Misamis Occidental Monday, February 24.
“Acted on the information received from a residents of Brgy Don Elino, troops were able to rescue (alias) Bentong, 14 years old, a resident of Barangay Don Elino, Sergio Osmeña, Zamboanga del Norte who was roaming in the area where he was tending his pasture,” he said.
The military said that Bentong was recruited by his cousin in December 2018 when he was just 13 years old and later he joined the Communist Terrorist of Guerilla Front Sendong – Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC) operating in Zamboanga del Norte and Misamis Occidental.
Quoting Bentong, the military said he was left by his comrades in the forest of Mount Malindang, prompting him to search for a nearest community to survive.
“This clearly shows that the Communist Terrorist Group is continuously violating the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) which prohibits the recruitment and use of children in hostilities,” said Col. Leonel Nicolas, commander of 102nd Infantry Brigade.