Uphold children’s rights amid worsening state fascism!
The NDFP regards the continuing gross and systematic violations of the human rights of the majority of Filipino children by the ruling system of big compradors and landlords as one of the compelling reasons for the revolutionary struggle of the Filipino people. Such violations have been aggravated by the deliberate targeting of these children in GRP/ GPH military operations against communities suspected to be under the control and/or supportive of the revolutionary movement.
—from Section 2, Article 1, NDFP Declaration and Program of Action
for the Rights, Protection and Welfare of Children
NDFP-ST condemns the Southern Luzon Command of the AFP and its respective units in Oriental Mindoro and Batangas for killing a minor and a 9-year old child in the said provinces this July. Troops and officers involved in the killings should be duly prosecuted and punished.
These crimes were committed in the course of focused military operations by the AFP in the two provinces. To justify the atrocities done to the people including children and minors, the AFP dangles the excuse that it is pursuing NPA rebels and restoring peace in the nation. All these lies are easily unraveled by violence of their own making.
The first victim, a minor, was killed in a firing spree by the elements of the 4th IBPA and PNP-SAF in Sitio Tauga Daka, Brgy. San Vicente, Roxas, Oriental Mindoro on July 3. The operating troops recklessly fired upon the homes of the Mangyan-Buhid people at Sitio Tauga Daka believing the said community was supporting the NPA.
In their desperation to cover up their crime, the 4th IBPA and PNP-SAF concocted a vicious lie. They said the minor was a Red fighter killed in a legitimate encounter between government troops and the NPA. They planted evidence and manipulated the crime scene to prop their story.
The same brazen conduct of the AFP led to the death of a 9-year old child, Kyllene Casao, in Sitio Centro, Brgy. Guinhawa, Taysan, Batangas on July 18.
On that day, a section of the 59th IBPA clashed with NPA forces in Sitio Amatong around 12 noon. Kyllene and her father, residents of Sitio Centro, were gathering firewood and herding goats when they heard the firefight. They immediately decided to return home but were met with gunfire on their way back. Kyllene was fatally hit and did not make it to the hospital.
The 59th IBPA repeatedly claims the bullet that killed Kyllene came from the NPA, but witness reports and common sense say otherwise. After all, the two sitios were separated by huge mountains, making it impossible for bullets fired in Sitio Amatong to reach Sitio Centro.
So who fired the bullet that killed Kyllene? The answer: the other column of troops from the 59th IBPA stationed near the elementary school in Sityo Centro. Frightened by the sound of gunfire from Sitio Amatong, the troops at Sityo Centro fired at various directions despite lacking a clear target. The troops’ indiscriminate firing inevitably caught Kyllene who rushed to the direction of the elementary school because she lived near it.
The military and police perpetrators must be held accountable for these reprehensible acts against children. They clearly violated international humanitarian law and conventions upholding the rights of children and should thus face justice. Further, officials of the AFP and GRP complicit in the conduct of the police-military operations during which the said crimes occurred are also culpable and must be made to answer for these crimes.