Do not use children as pawns in a dirty, brutal war
How vile and desperate of 2nd IBPA to use children as pawns in their corrupt and malicious surrender campaign! What did these children ever do to deserve being objectivized as trophies in this regime’s all-out war? Parading one batch of fake surrenderees after another, the 2nd IBPA has already probably made use of the entire population of legal-aged civilian Masbateños to now make use of children. But rather than bolster the credibility of the fascist regime’s surrender campaign, this recent stint of parading 18 children as child warriors in Aroroy, Masbate only further highlights how gigantic and desperate of an absurdity it has become. This orchestrated and shameful act deserves nothing short of the people’s outrage!
This is not the first time that the fascist state has endangered lives and abused children in the region. Last month, the 22nd IBPA illegally detained four children in Bulan, Sorsogon. They were illegally arrested along with their parents and relatives. In February, 83rd IBPA abducted a child in Garchitorena, Camarines Sur and, as of this writing, has not yet been located. Masbateño children have likewise been historically abused and subjected to state violence. Richlyn Luna, 12 and Reden Luna, 9, were murdered alongside their grandmother in Panan-awan, Masbate in 2017. Many are forced to evacuate their communities and stop attending school because of intense militarization. Schools and public spaces supposedly safe for children are also transformed into barracks for military units that carry out counterinsurgency operations. The list goes on and on.
Adding more insult to injury, 2nd IBPA used these children not only to orchestrate another feat in the surrender campaign, but also to thicken their pockets. Masbateño people are aware of how the Enhanced Livelihood and Integration Program (E-CLIP), Barangay Development Program (BDP) and other deceitful programs under the US-Duterte regime’s counterinsurgency campaign have only served to fatten the wallets of generals, other military officials and minions of the fascist administration. These 18 fake child warriors are equivalent to an at least additional P1,170,000 corruption money for the mercenary army.
While it is true that children should not be ignorant of the ongoing civil war between the Filipino people and the fascist state, it is never justifiable to use, threaten and murder them in the name of the state’s senseless war against the people. To do so is plainly despicable. In consecutively endangering the lives of children, the US-Duterte regime has only proven that every breathing, living creature – of whatever age, gender or class – is equally vulnerable to state violence.
NDF-Bikol calls on the Bikolano masses, as well as the international community, to highly condemn the rising number of abuses and crimes against children perpetrated by AFP-PNP-CAFGU. Relentlessly expose 2nd IBPA’s malicious use of children in the pacification campaign. At all times, remain vigilant and critical of the fake information circulated by the fascist regime and its mercenary army. More than ever, it is vital for the revolutionary movement to guide and fortify the people’s agitation and mobilize the widest and strongest anti-fascist alliance. The only way to truly provide a safe community for children and for everyone is to overthrow the system that allows the likes of Duterte to hold power and evade accountability.