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Military Terrorizes Batangas Community, Forcibly Recruiting Minors to Join Paramilitary

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Military Terrorizes Batangas Community, Forcibly Recruiting Minors to Join Paramilitary

Published on October 30, 2010
A minor’s refusal to join the CAFGU resulted in him being beaten up and threatened by soldiers. And he is not alone in his ordeal.
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO

Bulatlat.com
MANILA – Leon, 17, (not his real name) should be living a normal life, spending time with his mother, an overseas Filipino worker who has just returned to the country, or with his friends. Sadly, Leon’s life took a downward spin ever since soldiers entered their community.
Since February this year, the military has set up a detachment in barangay (village) Quipo in San Juan, Batangas, purportedly to protect the villagers from possible violence during the May 2010 elections. But they never left. In fact, more soldiers were deployed in the village.

The military, according to Juna Arante of Karapatan – Batangas, is said to be very friendly toward Leon, who they frequently invite to join their drinking sprees. On June 18, soldiers went to Leon’s house in sitio (sub-village) Calabasahan to formally recruit him to the Citizens Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU).
“His parents were worried. They heard that CAFGUs are almost always placed at the frontline during military operations. So it is natural that they did not allow him to join,” Arante told Bulatlat, “Plus, of course, he is still a minor.”

Leon’s refusal, however, was not taken lightly by the military. When Leon joined his childhood friends in an out-of-town-trip organized by the Philippine Air Force, in Laiya, San Juan, Batangas on August 28, Leon accidentally opened the door of a restroom for women at around 9:00 p.m. He was then dragged by three drunken soldiers to the men’s room where he was beaten up..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/10/30/military-terrorizes-batangas-community-forcibly-recruiting-minors-to-join-paramilitary/

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