Military kills 16 kids under Aquino
InterAksyon reported on a recent rally in front of Camp Aquinaldo against the recent deaths of children by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP):
Human rights activists staged a rally at Camp Aguinaldo Wednesday accusing the military of killing 16 children in counterinsurgency operations under the Aquino administration.
Karapatan said the latest death was that of Roque Antivo, 9, of Mabini, Compostela Valley, who was shot dead on April 3 in what the military claims was an encounter with New People’s Army guerrillas and troops of the 71st Infantry Battalion.
Wounded in the incident were Antivo’s brother Earl Jhun, 12, and uncle Jeffrey Hernan, 13.
Witnesses have debunked the military’s claims, saying there was no encounter on the day Roque was killed.
Records also show that officials of Barangay Mascareg in Mabini reported to police that soldiers of the 71st IB shot at four persons.
Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said aside from the death of Antivo, they have also recorded several abductions, allegedly by the military.
Among the latest is that of Gestine Canamaan, 18, who was snatched by unidentified men near her dormitory at St. Scholastica’s Academy in Marikina City.
Canamaan is the daughter of organizers of Piston and Kasama-TK.
On April 6, Arnel Rosales, 30, and Ronylin Lcuin, 20, were also abducted, allegedly by troops of the 60th Infantry Battalion, in Laak, Compostela Valley.
“It is hypocritical of the AFP to say that it wants closure on the abduction and enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos, when the same forms of violations during the Arroyo regime — killings, abductions, illegal arrests based on trumped up charges, among others — are being perpetuated by Aquino’s AFP,” Palabay said, referring to the still unresolved disappearance of the son of the late world press freedom icon, Jose Burgos Jr.
Recently, the Court of Appeals categorically accused the Army of Burgos’ abduction and subsequent disappearance.
The military has long denied any involvement, claiming Burgos was the victim of a supposed purge within the communist rebel movement, to which it claimed he belonged.