Philippines: CPP belies child soldier tag on 9-year old girl killed by soldiers

Apr. 08, 2007

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines

CPP belies child soldier tag on 9-year old girl killed by soldiers
April 7, 2007

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today condemned the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for killing a nine year old girl in Compostela Valley last March 31 and covering up their heinous crime by claiming that the victim was an “11-year old child soldier of the NPA.”

CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal said Grecil Galacio, 9, was deliberately shot by soldiers of the Philippine Army’s 67th IB while she was cowering away from the military’s volley of fire. The soldiers had initiated an attack against NPA fighters they spotted near the Galacio family’s residence in Barangay Kahayag, New Bataan, Compostela Valley.

Citing reports from the area, Rosal said Grecil who had been living in the area with her parents and siblings, was on her way to the nearby creek to bathe when soldiers started firing at her from an elevated position. She was hit by bullets in her arms and head.

“The CPP and the entire revolutionary movement condemn in the strongest possible terms the senseless and savage killing of nine-year old Grecil Galacio by the fascist troops of the AFP,” said Rosal. “In killing the innocent child, the AFP has once again shown itself to be a brutal killing machine that has no consideration for civilians and even children and has no respect at all for international humanitarian rules of war that protect noncombatants.”

“To justify their heinous crime, the military spewed out the incredible tale that Grecil was a ‘child soldier,’ that they saw her carrying an M-16 rifle even before the firefight and that she fired at them during the firefight,” said Rosal. “This is a complete distortion of the truth.”

Rosal dismissed as “ridiculous” the claim made by AFP Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Obaniana that his soldiers mistook Grecil for an adult male combatant, “because she was good at using the M-16.”

Grecil’s mother, however, was incredulous. “My daughter is so small. Nine years old. And then they say she’s NPA?” According to her parents, Grecil had just recently finished Grade 2 at the nearby SimSimen Elementary School.

Rosal further condemned the AFP for “desecrating Grecil’s fallen body by placing alongside it an M-16 rifle and taking pictures of her with the planted rifle in a devious attempt to cover up their crime.” The photo showed Grecil’s height was about the same as the length of the M-16 rifle.

Rosal conveyed his deepest sympathies with Grecil’s family and vowed that revolutionary justice will be meted out for the killing of the innocent child. “The New People’s Army will take every effort to make sure that the innocent child’s killers will be made to pay for their vicious crime.

Marco Valbuena
Media Officer
Cellphone Numbers: 09179776392 :: 09282242061

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