TWO minor communist rebels were among the eight fatalities during the armed encounter on Wednesday morning, July 12, in Barangay L.S. Sarmiento, Laak, Compostela Valley.
Captain Rhyan Batchar, spokesperson of the 10th Infantry Division, identified the minors as Raymund Lino alias Jeje, estimated to be between 14 to 15 years old, a resident of Laak town, Compostela Valley and Jessa Lariosa alias Erika, 17, a resident of Sua-on Kapalong, Davao del Norte.
Authorities already condemned the New People’s Army’s (NPA's) continuous recruitment of minors as combatants to join in the armed struggle against the troops, which is a clear violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law that prohibits the recruitment of children as fighters.
Also other insurgents killed during the skirmishes were Renato Tinoy alias Junjun, 32 to 34 years old, father of Raymund Lino, Ramon Perida alias Kokoy, 42 from Barangay Bollucan, Laak, Compostela Valley, a certain alias Maymay, wife of Ramon Perida, 40 to 45 years old from Tagum City, and alias Ansay, 30 to 35 years old, a resident of Talaingod and boundary Bukidnon.
Batchar said that the bodies of the rebels were identified and already claimed by their relatives. However, the two other rebels remained unidentified.
The firefight occurred around 8:45 a.m. and lasted for an hour with an estimated 40 insurgents belonging to Section Committee 3 and Pulang Bagani Company 4 in Barangay L.S. Sarmiento, Laak, Compostela Valley Province on Wednesday.
The operation is part of the continuing effort of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to weed out the rebel group and prevent them from conducting atrocities in civilian communities. (JCR)