Teenage girl soldiers surrender

Lance Danial Baconguis, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines

September 10, 2012

Two 15-year-old girls surrendered to government troops last week after quitting the communist New People's Army. Lt. Col. Eugene Osias, spokesman for the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said the girls from Surigao del Norte Province surrendered separately on September 6 and 7. He alleged that they were duped into joining the NPA and left because they could not endure the hardships. "We are saddened by the deceit employed by the NPAs to recruit minors to join their ranks," said the Division's commander. "These minors should have been sent to school to study, graduate and be employed in the future." Meanwhile, the NPA's Merardo Arce Command in southern Mindanao issued an apology for attacking a village near Davao City on September 1. The attack injured 41 people.