CPP calls on UN’s Radhika Coomaraswamy to look into terrorized children in Samar

By CPP Information Bureau

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today urged UN Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy to investigate the incident last March 4 in Matuguinao, Samar, where fascist troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) carried out military operations against residents of Barangay (village) Carolina, subjecting children and their parents to terrorism and abuse.

The CPP said it is also investigating the incident after receiving complaints from residents of Matuguinao that armed soldiers rampaged through their village and forced people to attend an anti-NPA (New People's Army) meeting sponsored by the military.

Upon entering the village, a platoon of AFP soldiers fired their guns indiscriminately for five minutes, terrorizing the residents. They then went around the village to round up residents and force them to attend a meeting in the town center. They threw stones at houses to force the people to come out. A house in the outlying parts of the village was razed.

The CPP called on UN Special Rep. Coomaraswamy to look into the particular incident were four siblings were terrorized by soldiers right inside their home. The children whose ages range from four to 12 years old, were left alone in their house after their father was compelled by the military to attend the anti-NPA meeting.

The soldiers forced their way into the house and asked the children where they kept their firearms. The children answered that there was no gun in the house. The military accused the children of lying, and relented only when the eldest child told the soldiers to search the house if they did not believe them.

"The CPP strongly condemns the terrorist treatment of the children of Matuguinao. The military operations carried out by the AFP under its so-called 'Community Organizing for Peace and Development' subjected the children and their parents to human rights abuses," said the CPP.

"The Matuguinao operation conducted by the AFP reveals the hypocrisy of the AFP's declarations promoting human rights. It shows that the so-called civil-military operations under Oplan Bayanihan are as brutal and violent, if not worse, than before," said the CPP.

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