NDFP condemns the AFP for presenting detained children as NPA "child soldiers"

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The Special Office for the Protection of Children of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) strongly condemned the 79th IB for brazenly lying and parading two minors as “young soldiers” of the New People’s Army (NPA). The 79th IB arrested Adonis Alforque, 16, and Jonidel Alforque, 17, in Sityo Humayan, Barangay Pinowayan, Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental on April 25. The residents of the said barrio also denied the military’s allegation.

“The AFP claiming that the NPA recruits child soldiers is a tired and worn-out tale, and has long been refuted by the NPA’s unsullied record of strongly adhering to the CPP’s strict policy of non-recruitment of persons below 18 years of age,” Ka Coni Ledesma, head of the NDFP office. This policy is also in keeping with the Basic Rules of the NPA and International Humanitarian Law.

Ka Coni insists the AFP’s use of children for their dirty war tactics meant to smear the NPA and the revolutionary movement is a violation of international humanitarian law. “By mislabeling children as ‘child soldiers,’ the AFP effectively blurs the distinction between combatants and civilians under the Geneva Conventions governing the rules of war,” she added.

Apart from the case of the Alforque brothers, there are many other incidents involving the violation of children’s rights and international humanitarian law by the AFP and its units, both under the former Duterte regime and the current Marcos regime.

Among the cases recorded by the NDFP Special Office for the Protection of Children is the 2nd IB forces’ killing of 17-year-old Rey Almario Belan in Masbate on June 16, 2023. This was just a few days after the 94th IB massacre in Fausto family, two of which were minors, in Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City on June 14, 2023.

The AFP also did not have qualms in attacking newborn babies and keeping them hostage. This includes the case of Baby Rhea in the last quarter of 2022. Meanwhile, the fascist soldiers still hold Baby Marx, the child of the martyred Red fighter Emarie Pastidio (Ka Jandy), who was kidnapped by the military in January 2021.

The NDFP denounces the state’s dirty war tactics and calls on the public and the international community to condemn the AFP for their reprehensible disregard of international humanitarian law and protections afforded to children in the context of the ongoing civil war.

AB: NDFP condemns the AFP for presenting detained children as NPA "child soldiers"