RECRUITMENT of children as rebels has been denounced by the Philippine Army.
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Baluga of Army's 24th Infantry Battalion said reports of recruitment of soldiers from nearby schools in Malibcong, Abra by the New People’s Army is a violation of international laws and has been reported to the Department of Education.
Baluga said reports that children from the Mataragan National High School are being recruited to the rebel groups have reached the Army.
The army official added he is awaiting names of the students who have been taken by the NPA as new members.
"Violation ito ng international laws, they are recruiting minors," added Baluga.
Baluga said the Army will not pull out of the area despite calls from groups to leave Malibcong as he claims people are scared of the rebels and are forced to follow them.
“I am challenging the people now not to support them (NPA), they have to chose now to resist,” the army official said.
Baluga maintained the military is not behind the bombings pinpointed to be the cause of massive forest fires in the area stressing the NPA’s deliberately burned their mountain tracks to prevent the military from keeping track of them.
Abra is still on full alert after the ambush which wounded five policemen last week when members of the New People’s Army ambushed the convoy of Abra Police Provincial Director Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum.
The NPA has since acknowledged the attack as well as the raid at the Malibcong Police station carting away police ammunition, uniforms and commutation equipment.