Guns lure children to join communist rebels–military
DIGOS CITY – Fascination for guns and the prospects of carrying one are among the main reasons children are being lured to the communist movement, the local military commander said.
Citing interviews they had with minor-combatants, who returned to the folds of the law, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Artuz, commander of the 39th Infantry Battalion, said children had thought that joining the New People’s Army (NPA) was the easiest way to lay their hands on real guns.
Artuz said this was the same explanation provided by two children-combatants when they yielded last week.
He said the military was working with social welfare officers to reintegrate the child-combatants into the society.
For those who have reached the legal age prior to their surrender, Artuz said the government has assisted them under the Balik-Baril program. Eldie S. Aguirre, Inquirer Mindanao
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