PNP aids ex-child warrior in filing rap vs. NPA recruiters

TACLOBAN CITY – The Philippine National Police (PNP) vowed to assist a former child warrior who filed a human trafficking complaint against members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who recruited him.

PNP Northern Samar provincial director, Col. Arnel Apud, said Sunday they are committed to help the former child warrior in his quest to seek justice against NPA recruiters who deceived him.

Jake de la Cruz alias “Ka Anda”, who used to live in a remote village in Northern Samar, said the NPA took advantage of his young age and convinced him to join the armed rebellion for a better future.

In a statement, Apud said he had ordered the women and children protection desk to assist "Ka Anda" in filing charges against the NPA members.

On Nov. 5, “Ka Anda” filed a complaint against two NPA recruiters for violation of Republic Act 9208 or the Anti- =Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 before the Prosecutor’s Office of Laoang, Northern Samar.

De la Cruz's exact age has to be determined since he has no birth registration record.

The minor is one of the three armed rebels arrested during the strike operation of the Philippine Army in the upland Epaw village, Las Navas, Northern Samar on June 1, 2020.

Government troops recovered two improvised explosive devices, a caliber .45 pistol, a magazine with six live ammunition, and a sling bag containing PHP15,000 cash.

“Ka Anda” said the NPA promised him to be sent to school, but he was treated like a laborer, accompanying rebels while collecting food and money from villagers.

“This kind of recruitment is alarming. I am reminding all parents to be watchful of our children. We cannot allow this kind of deceptive recruitment of NPA to the youth. I urge you to immediately report to the authorities if similar activities occur in your communities,” Apud added.

The NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is listed as a terrorist organization in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)


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