Ex- rebels : NPAs recruit minors to avoid criminal liability

Ex- rebels : NPAs recruit minors to avoid criminal liability

The bill seeking the lowering the minimum age of criminal liability has found an unlikely ally.

Former rebels claimed to have witness how the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) recruited minors to fight the government forces.

Ina private forum called by  the former rebels, who requested anonymity expressed their views on how the proposed bill would stop the long-standing activity of the communist rebels of abusing juvenile exemption from criminal liability.

(photo credit to owner)

Bilang teacher, nakikita ko po yung sinasapit ng isang bata na sumasama sa grupo na 'yun. Gagawin po silang terrorist (As their teacher, I witnessed what becomes of a child who goes with the rebel group. They are bound to become terrorists),” a certain "Ka Jamie", former member of the movement who teaches in a school built by rebels to “brainwash their vulnerable minds,” said in an interview.

Ka Jamie, a teacher by profession said she worked with the Pambansang Demokratikong Paaralan during her time with the movement.

She said their primary intention was to ignite the rebellious spirit among students, adding the philosophies Marxism–Leninism–Maoism is encouraged.

She also shared that the parents themselves pushed their children to join these movements.
Madali lang po kasing malinlang yung mga nakatira sa bundok, nakakaawa po, sinasabihan po silang bibigyan ng pera ganon (People who live in the countryside get easily deceived. The rebels will sway them into joining through compensation),” Ka Jamie added.
Another former rebel, who goes by the name of "Ka Mario", corroborated the claim of Ka Jamie and has urged other people to support the proposed bill as well.
Halos pabata nang pabata ang mga child combatants at pagdating ng araw sila ding mga bata ang gagawing human bomb ng ilang extremist group gaya ng nakikita sa Iraq at Afghanistan ” bared Ka Mario, a former leader of the Cordillera People’s Liberation Front.
Ang pagbaba ng minimum age para sa criminal liability ang magiging solusyong para dito. Para ma-save po yung mga bata ,” he added.
Under the bill, children aged nine to 18, who commit serious crimes like murder, homicide, rape and violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, would be committed to an Intensive Juvenile Intervention and Support Center (IJISC), a special facility within the youth care facility called "Bahay Pag-asa”.
Children in the IJISC would be required to undergo a "more intensive multi-disciplinary intervention program."
As per the bill, Children aged nine to 18, who have repeatedly committed criminal offenses and have undergone a community-based intervention program, would be committed to a Bahay Pag-asa, upon written authorization of their parents or foster parents, or by petition for involuntary commitment by the Social Welfare department.

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Report from PNA

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