Ex-child warrior files trafficking charges vs NPA recruiters

Photo from NSPPO
Photo from NSPPO

A FORMER child combatant filed a case for human trafficking against two alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who recruited him to join the movement.

Colonel Arnel Apud, director of the Northern Samar Police Provincial Office (NSPPO), said they assisted the victim, identified as “Ka Anda,” in filing a case before the Prosecutor’s Office of Laoang, Northern Samar on Thursday, November 5, 2020.

“This kind of recruitment is alarming. I am reminding all parents to be watchful of our children. We cannot allow this kind of deceptive recruitment of NPA to the youth,” said Apud.

Through the help of NSSPO’s Women and Children Protection Desk, the former child warrior filed a case for violation of the Republic Act (RA) 9208, or Anti- Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, as amended by RA 10364, known as the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons against his alleged recruiters.

“'Ka Anda,' who used to live in a remote village in the 2nd District of Northern Samar, shared that the NPA took advantage of his young age and deceivingly recruited him,” Apud said in a statement.

According to the police provincial office, “Ka Anda” is one of the three armed rebels arrested during the strike operation of the Philippine Army’s 81st Division Reconnaissance Company in the vicinity of Barangay Epaw, Las Navas, Northern Samar on June 1, 2020.

The soldiers also confiscated from the rebels' possession two improvised explosive devices, one caliber .45 pistol, a magazine with six live ammunition, and one sling bag with P15,000 cash, it added.

Apud urged the public to immediately report to the authorities if they learned of similar child recruitment activities in their communities.

Citing RA 10364, the police official said the law punishes any person who shall recruit a child to engage in armed conflict deemed as human trafficking. (SunStar Philippines)

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