More children’s rights
violation by the Armed Forces of the Philippines
By KATUNGOD-SINIRANGAN BISAYAS
March 29, 2011
TACLOBAN CITY – Last
March 4, 2011 more than 30 members of the Armed Forces of the
military operations in the hinterlands of Brgy.
Matuguinao, Samar. The residents of Brgy. Carolina heard gunfire for
five minutes. Moments later, these soldiers burned down a house
located just outside the barangay proper. Upon entering the Barangay,
the soldiers forcibly summoned all the residents of the Barangay to
the town plaza.
Residents who did not
heed the summons were “visited” by the soldiers at their houses, and
deliberately bombarded their houses with stones just for them to
attend the meeting.
The soldiers even
entered a house with four children inside. The children, with ages
ranging from four to 12 years old, were left on their own because
their father was picked up by the military to attend the town meeting.
One soldier who acted as the team leader, interrogated the children.
The children were asked if they have a gun. The children answered no
and the team leader accused the children of lying. The eldest child
then answered the team leader that if he does not believe them, he can
search inside the house. That was the time that the soldiers left.
“The Internal Peace
and Security Plan Bayanihan of the AFP, on its text gives “primacy to
human rights”. Does this incident show any iota of respect to human
rights?” Katungod-SB-Karapatan through its Documentation Head Kathrina
R. Castillo commented.
The Regional Alliance
for the Advancement of People’s Rights, Katungod-SB-Karapatan,
condemns in the strongest possible terms this blatant and
unforgiveable violation of children’s rights. Children are considered
as “zones of peace” and at all times must be respected. This incident
shows the ignorance of soldiers and the culture of disrespect and
shroud of impunity arrogated by the soldiers to themselves as they
obediently implement the counter-insurgency program devised by the US-Aquino
“We call on all
advocates of human rights in the Region to be one with us in
condemning this disrespectful act of the military to the rights of our
children. We must make effective measures to ensure the protection and
the advancement of the rights of our children, as we ensure the
attainment of the progressive future that we are all fighting for”,