Duterte gives marching orders for authorities to rescue children being indoctrinated by Communist rebels

Published February 24, 2021, 12:36 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Bring them home. 

President Duterte has ordered authorities to recover the children taken by Communist rebels, and return them to their parents.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

According to the President, law enforcers do not need a warrant to enter a house to recover the children held by the rebels.

The problem of insurgency, including the reported child recruitment and rebel taxation, was tackled by the President during the storm situation briefing in Surigao del Sur Tuesday. 

“Yung human trafficking (With human trafficking) it’s not only the people with selling sex slaves. Itong mga NPA, kinukuha nila ‘yung mga anak. Dinadala nila sa ibang lugar. Kunin ninyo yung mga bata at isauli ninyo sa mga nanay at tatay (The NPA rebels take the children and bring them to another place. Recover the children and return them to their mothers an fathers) because a child, a minor should not be separated from the family home,” he said.

“If the child is inside the house, there’s already a crime committed. So you don’t need a warrant to go in. Puntahan sa loob at kunin ang mga bata at isauli at the earliest opportunity,” he added.

Duterte also vowed to assume full responsibility in the war against the armed Communist insurgency, telling law enforcers to just perform their duty. “I assume full responsibility especially in prosecuting the war against the insurgents. Hulihin ninyo (Catch them),” he said.

The President made the remarks after police reportedly rescued several indigenous children from a retreat house in Cebu. The children were allegedly being indoctrinated to join the Communist rebel movement. The police have filed charges of kidnapping with serious illegal detention, child exploitation and human trafficking against seven suspects allegedly responsible for abducting the children.

In the same remarks, the President admitted that insurgency problem was rampant in Caraga region (North and Northeastern Mindanao), citing the need to pursue development projects to address the security concern.

“I need the barangay roads to improve the insurgency problem sa lahat lalo na dito sa Mindanao. Ang pinakamalakas ang Caraga sa Eastern Visayas. Ang Caraga ang pinaka sakit sa ulo,” he said.

He likewise denounced the Communist rebel group for its alleged extortion activities. “Yang mga buang (Those crazy) na NPA. They are collecting taxes everywhere and anywhere kaya may pera talaga ‘yan,” he said.

To help address the insurgency problem, the President ordered anew Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones to hasten the distribution of agricultural lands to beneficiaries. Idle government lands, he added, should also be given away.

“Sabi ko ibigay na ninyo ang lupa. Lahat ng nakita sa gobyerno, ibigay na ninyo sa tao. Wala naman ‘yan. Hindi naman nagagamit  (I told him to give away the lands, including those owned by the government, to the people. It’s not being used anyway).  It is not being utilized for productivity,” he said.