A Hand For An Orphan

CRC supports children who can no longer be with their parents through the Orphan Support program. Help us provide for their basic needs and education and adopt an orphan financially. Your care counts. Read more »

Send a Postcard

Stay informed on our latest news!

Syndicate content

GMA's War on Terrorism: Children Made As Sacrificial Lambs

Since the US- Arroyo regime started its relentless campaign on "war against terrorism", many children became sacrificial lambs. Their situation was pushed to further desolation with the terror and psychological trauma, geographical and social displacement, economic breakdown and disruption/disintegration of family life.

The government forces specifically the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and para-military forces have been mobilized and deployed in various urban and rural areas around the country. For instance, there are 39 battalions presently deployed in Southern Tagalog; ( 9 battalions of which are in Mindoro; 4 battalions, 1 brigade, and 1 division in Bicol region, 5 battalions and 1 brigade in Cagayan Valley; 10 battalions in Western Mindanao; 10 battalions in Socsargen; 9 battalions in Eastern Visayas; 3 brigades in Southern Mindanao; 6 battalions in Central Luzon; 5 battalions in Bohol; and 2 battalions in Cebu.

Such massive military deployment created fear and terror among the Filipino people. This war persists in pursuit of US President Bush and GMA's so-called war on terrorism, targeting those who are critical of the government policies and programs.

The havoc of war continues despite the many demonstration-rallies against it. Political ideologies and actions are labeled as "terrorism" to undermine people opposed government policies. State security forces and paramilitary troops make no distinction between civilians and the so-called "terrorists". Even children are not spared.

From January 2001 to April 2005, the Children Rehabilitation Center (CRC) and KARAPATAN (an alliance of human rights organizations) documented a total of 126,850 children affected by different human rights violation. These include 580 direct victims, 138 indirect victims, 17 children political detainees, and 126,115 children displaced due to indiscriminate firing, strafing, bombing, destruction and divestment of properties. The year 2003 has the largest accounted children victims at 76,288. However, on the first quarter of 2005, 15,816 children victims have already been documented.

Of the 516 children, 405 are aged below 15 years old, 228 are in elementary, and 148 came from peasant families. Data shows that the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has the highest number of children victims of human rights violations, followed by Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog. The most common perpetrator is the Philippine Army (PA) followed by the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

Several communities are virtually held hostage by the military. Detachments are constructed inside villages particularly in the school facilities, barangay halls and/or health centers. Curfews are imposed and people's everyday lives are monitored. Local government officials such as municipal mayors and barangay captains lose overall control of their jurisdiction, implying complete subjugation of civilian authority under military might. Such situation placed the Filipino children in a gruesome condition.

The anti-terrorism bills that the Macapagal-Arroyo government is pushing in Congress is a cause for alarm Anti-terrorism laws do not guarantee to public safety and national security. On the contrary, imposing these can be a preface to an open military rule in the country. With martial law in he land, more and more innocent children will become like lambs being sacrificed for the slaughter by the Arroyo government to US worldwide campaign against "war on terror".