From the Philippine Information Agency (Apr 8): Minor rebel returnee endorsed to DavNor's social welfare office
Military authorities endorsed a minor under the care of the Provincial Welfare and Development Office of Davao del Norte, following her surrender after four months of joining the rebel movement.
Lt. Colonel Llewellyn Binasoy, commanding officer of the 60th Infantry Battalion handed over Ana (not her real name), 17 to the PSWD-Davao del Norte for stress debriefing and medical treatment due to her suffering in the company of rebels under front committee 34 of the New People’s Army.
He said he is pleased that the minor surrendered so that she can start anew and pursue life in a better perspective.
“We are happy to save her life. We will help her to gather herself and start a new life normally,” Binasoy said.
In her statement, Ana claimed she could no longer bear the hunger and hardships in all their tactical operations against the authorities.
She said oftentimes, they were on the run while evading soldiers in the mountains.
Ana claimed seeing the excesses of the rebels when they attempted to kill her uncle and held two of her relatives.
She said she could hardly accept also the pre-arranged relationship between her and one of the members of the rebels.
“I was forced to join them because of fear, when they threw a rifle on the ground in front of me. The rebels said I have to go with them since my father prearranged my relation with one of their members to be his wife,” Ana said.
She said her ordeal run from December 2012 up to March 25 this year, when she returned to the folds of the law through the help of her former employer who brought her to the military on April 2.
Colonel Buenaventura Pascual, commander of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade expressed his commitment to help and protect the members of the indigenous peoples who are vulnerable to deception and exploitation by the rebels.
“We will maintain our reaching out activities with the indigenous communities to provide them with ample protection,” he said.