Senator Bato dela Rosa has raised the need to stop the communist-led New People’s Army (NPA) from recruiting “child soldiers.”
Dela Rosa earlier pressed a Senate inquiry on the alleged recruitment by some groups of young boys to become NPA child soldiers.
He filed on November 25 Senate Resolution No. 222 seeking a probe on the alleged enlistment and training of young people as “child warriors.”
According to him recruiters of child soldiers might face violation of Republic Act No. 7610 or the Children Abuse Act.
It states that, “Children shall not be recruited to become members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines of its civilian units or other armed groups, nor be allowed to take part in fighting, or use as guides, couriers, or spies.”
Dela Rosa, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order, hopes that the inquiry will lead to “remedial measures to protect and promote the rights and interest of the Filipino youth.”
“In order to maintain peace and order, protect the people against violence and ensure the welfare of the youth, as mandated no less than the Constitution and our existing laws and jurisprudence, there is an urgent need to investigate the alleged recruitment of minors as child warriors of the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA),” he said.
He said that on October 31 simultaneous raids were conducted by the Criminal Investigation and Detection-Western Visayas, Philippine Army and Bacolod City Police Office, implementing the search warrants issued by the Executive Judge of Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert, in the offices of Kilusang Mayo Uno, Gabriela and Anak Pawis in Barangay Bata and the National Federation of Sugar Workers in Barangay 33, for alleged violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Law.
During the raid, police and military operatives seized firearms, ammunition and explosives and arrested 40 persons with alleged links to CPP-NPA and 14 minors, age 12 to 17, who were allegedly “being trained to be rebel warriors.”
The offices were reportedly being used as training centers of newly-recruit young individuals to prepare them in joining the NPA.
The raiding teams recovered 32 assorted firearms, three fragmentation grenades, two grenade launchers, and assorted ammunition.