A 14-YEAR-OLD female member of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to authorities Sunday afternoon, June 23, in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
The surrenderer, who was identified as alias Grace (real name withheld for being a minor), resident of Barangay Dagohoy, Talaingod, Davao del Norte, also revealed that there are other minors who remain within the NPA.
Grace served as a medic for Andoy platoon of the Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit, Sub-Regional Committee 5, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee of the NPA.
Captain Erick Wynmer F. Calulot, public information officer of the 1003rd Infantry (Raptor) Brigade, said Grace surrendered to Lieutenant Colonel Norman E. Valdez, commanding officer of 56th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Sto Niño, Talaingod.
Calulot said the former rebel decided to leave the communist movement after seeing the sincerity of the Community Support Program Team in bridging the social and developmental issues in their community.
“During the initial interview, the surrenderer revealed that she was recruited sometime in October last year promising that social reformation through armed revolution is her family’s way out of poverty,” he said.
After her surrender, the minor was turned over for temporary shelter and protective custody to Talaingod’s Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office where she will undergo psychological and other necessary evaluations.
The 56th IB is closely coordinating with the Philippine National Police Talaingod for the filing of cases against the NPA leaders responsible for violations of children’s rights and other cases.
Colonel Nolasco Mempin, commander of the 1003rd Brigade, condemned the NPA for continuous recruitment of minors as combatants which is against the law.