AFP confirmed that an eleven (11) year old boy identified as Michael Gabriel alias Dodong voluntarily surrendered to the soldiers of 60th Infantry Battalion of the 10th Infantry Division, Philippine Army in Brgy. Camansa, Asuncion, Davao del Norte on May 9,215.
According to Army report, the boy was assisted by Hon. Elizabeth A. Abad, the Punong Barangay of the said place. During the interview, Michael revealed that he was used by the NPA bandits for the past six (6) years and had experienced six (6) encounters with the security forces in some parts of Davao del Norte & in Davao Oriental.
“Ako pud ang gitahasan sa among lider ug mag tanom landmine sa mga kadalanan sa tawo” (I am also ordered by our NPA leader in laying landmines along civilian roads). He further revealed that he was a resident of Brgy. Don Enrique, Mati City, Davao Oriental. 60th Infantry Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Roberto Bunagan immediately presented Michael to Asuncion Mayor Hon. Joseph Nilo Parrenas and to the Municipal Police station for documentation and proper disposition.
|NPA child soldier file photo from Inquirer.net|
Parrenas, the Mayor of Asuncion, Davao del Norte commended the soldiers of 60th IB for bringing Michael to his office safe and unharmed. However, Michael requested the Mayor that he stay under the care of soldier of 60th IB. Lt. Col. Bunagan said that he will present Michael to DSWD for further documentation and necessary assistance. “We are already coordinating with concerned local officials in order to locate the parents of Michael.
The AFP's report added there were 3 other NPA members who are all minors voluntarily surrendered and welcomed by their unit last since March.
Source : AFP/PIA