NDF Negros demands release of Baby Marx to his grandparents!


The National Democratic Front – Negros denounces the 79th Infantry Battalion, National Task Force-Elcac, and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for continuing to withhold a two-year old baby of New People’s Army (NPA) members and hampering his safe return to his grandparents.

Baby Marx Cairo Salino, son of Red fighters Ka Peeta and Ka Jandy, was seized from the care of Marlyn and Edwin Madin by 79th IB soldiers when he was still two-months old during an illegal search of the Madin’s home at Hacienda Ambulong, Barangay San Fernando, Talisay City, Negros Occidental on January 13, 2021.

Baby Marx was then treated like recovery material in military operations when he was displayed to media people by the 79th IB to justify their actions despite the absence of search and/or arrest warrants. After two years, Baby Marx remains a hostage of the 79th IB in connivance with local offices of the DSWD.

We have received updates that the grandparents have been trying for two years to claim Baby Marx but they were forwarded from one office to another—from Talisay CSWD to Calatrava MSWD and, most recently, the Escalante CSWD office. We are very much alarmed that a personnel from the Escalante CSWD informed the family that Baby Marx’s release depends on the approval of the DSWD and the Philippine Army. It is public knowledge that Escalante City hosts the headquarters of the National Task Force-Elcac in Negros Island.

Furthermore, Baby Marx’s grandparents were subjected to harassments, threats and intimidation perpetrated by 79th IB soldiers and their intelligence operatives while processing the immediate and safe return of their grandson. On the first quarter of 2022, they escaped an army raid on their temporary shelter in Cadiz City with their minor child. Being parents to a Red fighter, they also experienced pressure to give information on and persuade their son, Baby Marx’s father, to surrender.

We hold the state accountable for violating international humanitarian law by seizing Baby Marx from his caregiver and depriving him the care of his family, in this case his grandparents. The Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols stipulate “special protection” for women and children, especially infants and pregnant women. They are “protected people” under conditions of armed conflict.

We demand the Philippine Army and DSWD to release and return Baby Marx to his grandparents without any conditions. Failure to do so constitutes gross neglect of IHL and the GRP-NDFP’s Comprehensive Agreement on Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

We call on the rank and file soldiers and employees of the 79th IB and DSWD to do what is right and just for Baby Marx. You, after all, have family and are also mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, and grandparents and grandchildren.

From 2020-2022, Baby Marx is one of 27 cases on state violence in Negros Island that directly concern children. Just last year, 40 minors were victimized or involved in 16 cases of extrajudicial killings, indiscriminate firing, threats and harassments, illegal detention, illegal search, and attempted abduction. These human rights violations were perpetrated by the 94th IB, 79th IB, 62nd IB, the Special Action Force and other PNP personnel.

The NDF Negros calls on human rights defenders, children’s rights advocates, church people, women’s groups, lawyers, the academe, non-governmental organizations and peace-loving people to help in giving Baby Marx back to the care of his family.

The NDF Negros reiterates its commitment to the NDFP’s Declaration and Program of Action for the Rights, Protection and Welfare of Children in stark contrast to the anti-child policies of the reactionary regime. We continue to fight for the rights of Filipino children against the current regime’s military campaign of suppression and its abandonment of the future generation.###

NDF Negros demands release of Baby Marx to his grandparents!