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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (06 Oct. 2021) – A family of three belonging to an indigenous peoples (IP) group who joined the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to the Army’s 88th Infantry Battalion (88IB) in Bukidnon on Oct. 4.
The report was released by the Army on Tuesday afternoon (October 5) identified the surrenderers as Man Oloron, 56, an NPA “political guide,” and his wife Nili Salobo, 55, together with their 11-year-old son.
The 88IB’s Alfa Company confiscated from them one carbine rifle, with one magazine, and nine live ammunition in Sitio Malantao, Barangay Halapitan, San Fernando, Bukidnon, during their surrender.
Their surrender was the result of the unit’s continued campaign against communist armed groups in the mountainous areas of Pantaron Mountain Ranges, covering Malaybalay City, San Fernando, and Cabanglasan towns in Bukidnon.
Oloron said they joined the NPA after the communist group promised them a better life.
The couple’s son was turned over to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office of San Fernando, Bukidnon to undergo an interview and stress debriefing.
Lt. Col. Christian James P. Vingno, 88IB’s commander, said the continuous recruitment of children-soldiers and exploitation of IP communities is a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
“The comprehensive conduct of Community Support Program (CSP) and the focused military operation of government troops have been instrumental in the rapid disintegration of the NPA formation. This is a clear indicator that we are near to ending this 52-year of local communist armed conflict,” he said.
The 88IB has already coordinated with the police as it plans to file an IHL violation case against the NPA for recruiting minors.
“I am also calling the attention of all the parents, let us monitor our children from being recruited by the NPAs,” Vingno said.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.