Child warrior not ours – NPA

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/02 August) – The Valentin Palamine Regional Operations Command of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) has denied the minor allegedly being paraded recently by the Army in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur as a child warrior was a member of the rebel group.

In a press statement, Ka Dencio Madrigal, spokesperson of Front 71 of the NPA Far South Mindanao Region, said Roy Parasa, 17, of Barangay Tagaytay, Magsaysay was trained by the 39th Infantry Battalion to penetrate the rebel movement through his uncle, Roger Parasa.

Together the two, according to Madrigal, carted away two high-powered firearms from the NPA.

Madrigal, though, did not cite the place and date of the incident.

The rebel spokesperson tagged the older Parasa as a “traitor to the people’s movement”.

Parasa, according to the statement, was just one of the many minors the 39th IB has trained to penetrate the rebel ranks.

The rebel group further alleged that one Eric Layal, 17, of Barangay Malawanit, Magsaysay was abducted and tortured by soldiers to force him to pose as an NPA child warrior.

But Layal escaped from the Army’s captivity, the NPA said.

The statement added that Donita Rose Barro, of Barangay Dungan Pekong in Matan-ao, Davao del Sur was also paraded in her town as a child warrior.

Madrigal said that like Parasa, Layal and Barro were never recruited to the armed movement.

“They are simple barrio folks, unfortunate minors, who have been used by the reactionary armed forces in their propaganda war against the revolutionary movement,” the statement said.

In a statement dated July 29, the 10th Infantry Division said that three child combatants surrendered to the military in three separate areas of Southern Mindanao.

The military identified the alleged child combatants as Roy Parasa, Aiza Mae Cañete, 15, and Remie Pericano, 17.

Parasa reportedly belonged to the Sentro de Gravidad-72 of the NPA’s Far South Mindanao Regional Committee.  (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)