A mother from Cagayan province is appealing to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) to let her daughter return home so she can continue her studies and live a better life.
“To the NPA rebels, give me back my daughter! You have done nothing but ruin the future of our children. Give me back my daughter. You do not know how painful it is to be separated with your child,” said Venancia Gayagas, a resident of Barangay Bural, Zinundungan Valley, Rizal, Cagayan last February 15, in Filipino.
Gayagas said her daughter Rosemalyn is just 17 years old and a Grade 11 student.
She said the last time she saw her daughter was in November 2020 and since then, they have not heard any information about her.
Cayagas said she strongly believes that the CPP-NPA recruited Rosemalyn because it was not the first time that minors in their community left their homes to join the communist terrorist group.
“I’m afraid. She is only 17. What if the NPA just neglects her like what they do with their other members when they become irrelevant. I can feel that my daughter is suffering,” the teary-eyed Gayagas said.
Gayagas said she can no longer sleep at night.
“My child, do not be afraid to return to us. The soldiers are with us, they will help you. Please come down so you could continue your studies and be with us),” Gayagas said.
Major Jekyll Julian Dulawan, Officer-in-charge of the Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) of 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, said Zinundungan Valley is known to be a guerilla base of the CPP-NPA.
Dulawan said Gayagas came to them to ask for help in retrieving her daughter.
Commission on Human Rights Spokesperson lawyer Jacqueline de Guia said it is tragic to see children being recruited to become child warriors in areas of armed conflict.“We have noted cases allegedly perpetrated by the New People’s Army where children are being harmed, killed, or seriously injured in armed battles, among others. We strongly condemn these acts,” de Guia said. SOVEREIGNPH