BAYUGAN CITY, Agusan del Sur, Dec. 10 -- While militant groups conduct mass rallies and protests in the streets exploiting minority groups as propaganda fronts, the 3rd Special Forces "Arrowhead" Battalion (3SFBn) celebrates the Human Rights Day with the Agusanon children from all walks of life in a Christmas party held on Tuesday (Dec. 10) at the 3SFBn headquarters in Barangay Noli, this city.
"We stand to uphold human rights as we put premium to the welfare of our youth because they are the most vulnerable sector in any conflict. Last December 2, Litboy Talja Binongcasan, a grade 6 student from Gingoog City, was killed in an encounter in Agusan del Norte," said Lieutenant Colonel Joey Baybayan, 3SFBn commanding officer.
"A clear proof that the New People's Army (NPA) terrorists violate the international humanitarian law (IHL). We cannot afford to let this happen again to any of our children," he added.
It can be recalled that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) condemns the use of NPA child warriors saying that it constitutes a war crime. "The boy (Litboy) was still in his development years and should be focusing on honing his potentials so he can pursue his goals and dreams but his life was snuffed out and can no longer be taken back," bared Jacqueline de Guia, spokesperson of CHR.
"Putting children in the battlefield imperils and endangers them. Even if they survive armed encounters, the psychological and mental impact can be lifelong," De Guia added.
"The NPA terrorists' horrible and deceptive youth recruitment is one of the issues being addressed by the local task forces to end local communist armed conflict. We urge the nation, and even militant groups, to open their eyes and see the brutal effect of the 50 years existence of communist insurgency. If we love our country, let us support the whole-of-nation approach to end the useless communist armed and political struggle caused by NPA terrorists and their front groups," said Colonel Allan Hambala, commander of 401st Infantry Brigade.
Meanwhile, militant and anti-government groups are again set to conduct their usual rallies to falsely accuse the government and the military of any human rights violations even, in fact, the military is currently busy spending their time bringing smiles to a hundred children through fun games and gift-giving to celebrate the Human Rights Day and stand against to those who violate it. (1Lt. Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan, CMO officer, 3SFB/ PIA-Agsusan del Sur)