A 16-year old New People’s Army (NPA) militia who recently surrendered to the Philippine Army’s 28th Infantry “Kamagong” Battalion (28IB) in Davao Oriental revealed the location of an M16 high-powered rifle.
Known only with an alias, “Buboy”, the minor was confirmed as a NPA Milbay (Militia ng Bayan).
Buboy, a resident of Barangay Calapagan, Municipality of Lupon, voluntarily surrendered to the 28IB on July 16, 2020.
Buboy said he was recruited early this year by a certain “Jhonny”, the commander of the weakened NPA Guerilla Front 18.
He acted initially as a courier of the terrorist group but was later on tasked to take up arms and eventually became an NPA militia.
He revealed that Jhonny left a high-powered firearm in his custody and kept it in the vicinity of their house at Sitio Yauri.
With this information, 28IB commanding officer Lt. Col Alexander Banatao and the Philippine National Police immediately organized a team and conducted a joint retrieval operation to recover the high-powered firearm.
In coordination with the Lupon Municipal Police StationBuboy was brought to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office of Lupon for proper documentation and intervention.
But Buboy, with consent from his guardian, signified he wanted to be placed under the custody of 28IB awaiting for his enrollment to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
Banatao slammed the NPA’s continuous exploitation of minors in their efforts to overthrow the government.
“The NPA’s continuous exploitation of minors for their terroristic activities is a gross violation of children’s rights. It is a clear manifestation of their desperation to replenish their ranks as their forces weaken because of successive encounters with government forces.” Banatao said.
It can be recalled that just a few months ago, troops of 28IB were able to rescue a child in armed conflict after an encounter with the communist NPA terrorists in a hinterland in Barangay Maragatas of Lupon town.
The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines that is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (Rudolph Ian Alama, PIA with reports from 28IB)