The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas today slammed the arrest and tagging of a 12-year-old child as a Red fighter as a desperate move to smear the New People’s Army by Maj. Gen. Raul Farnacio of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division. “We strongly condemn Gen. Farnacio for victimizing a child to belittle the growing strength and offensive capabilities of the NPA in the region,” said NDF-EV spokesperson Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas. “The child was illegally arrested by soldiers from the Philippine Army’s 803rd Infantry Brigade who allegedly found 25 bullets in his possession last May 13 in Barangay De Tubang, Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar. We demand the immediate release of the child from the custody of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.”
Fr. Salas said Farnacio’s accusation was clearly fabricated because of the circumstances of the child’s arrest and because of the NPA’s firm policy against recruiting minors. “The soldiers could have easily planted bullets while checking the sack of rice the child was carrying. Or the child could have picked up the bullets elsewhere because he lived in a highly militarized area. At any rate, the NPA will never even put a child at such risk in the midst of war. In the final analysis, alleging the child was a Red fighter is already spinning a fabrication on the part of Gen. Farnacio, because the NPA’s policy sets the minimum age for recruitment as a Red fighter at 18.”
The NDF-EV spokerson called on the people to be critical and vigilant of the military’s smear campaign against the NPA’s intensifying offensives in the region. “Earlier last April, the Philippine Army’s 87th IB also alleged the NPA burned down the schoolhouse in Barangay Literon, Calbiga, Samar, when in fact it was the soldiers’ barracks the Red fighters destroyed. Meanwhile, if we are to talk about human rights, Gen. Farnacio is silent on the evacuation last April of 7,000 peasants in Calbiga and Pinabacdao. Or the threats made that same month by 43rd IB soldiers they would shoot any male seen outside Barangay L. Empon, Las Navas, Northern Samar.
“These are the real and not just psywar violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. Even while the NDFP-GRP peace talks are about to resume, people in the countryside are being violated, and political prisoners still languish behind bars. Under these circumstances, the NPA must defend the people and intensify the offensives because it is waging a just war. The onus is on the GRP to silence the guns of its unjust war.”
Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas, Spokesperson
NDFP Eastern Visayas (Region VIII)
22 May 2017
Source : https://www.philippinerevolution.info/statements/20170522-ndf-ev-hits-military-for-planting-bullets-and-arresting-child-to-smear-the-npa