Groups to AFP: ‘Spare children from propagating, humanizing wars’

CHILD welfare groups called on the attention of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to please spare children from being dragged for their mere objective to propagate and humanize their war-related joint military exercises with the US Armed Forces.

“We are very much alarmed for this may lead to further exploitation on the part of our children,” stresses Love Carlos, National Spokesperson of Akap Bata Youth Advocates.

The groups said that the front-page photo of  a newspaper caught their attention as they were dubious on the intention of state armed forces in using children as part of their propaganda and cultural vehicle to make the ongoing joint US-RP military exercises more acceptable to the public.

Akap Bata Party-List and Akap Bata Youth Advocates clarified that what triggers their reaction over the said photo is its real intent and that kids are being used in bad faith on affairs which is supposed to be none of their concerns.

She added, ‘We also find it ironic for the Aquino government to brag about developments on the Bangsamoro peace efforts in Mindanao while it continues to hold joint US-RP military exercises in the country which is clearly being staged to prepare for more wars.’

‘We can’t deny the fact that the end victims of all forms of unjustified wars were children as it affects them holistically. This recent image using our children in softening the image of war-related efforts of the government opens our children to further vulnerability,’ Carlos said.

The groups also reminded the Aquino administration that our State has moral obligation to safeguard the right of every Filipino child to live in a peaceful and child-friendly community as cited in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child.

‘How can we ensure that our children are in peaceful communities if military exercises are being staged in their communities and wars are part of their everyday lives? Our kids deserve to be on schools and playgrounds not on warzones,’ Carlos said.

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