Group: Philippine army mislabeled child soldiers

AP News
Posted: Oct 11, 2011 11:20 PM
Group: Philippine army mislabeled child soldiers

A U.S.-based human rights group is accusing the Philippine army of fabricating stories that some children it has taken into custody are communist "child warriors."

The military says 215 New People's Army child soldiers have surrendered, 121 have been captured and 12 have been killed between January 1999 and January this year.

Human Rights Watch says that at least 12 children have been falsely labeled child soldiers by the military. It says the army made the claims to score propaganda points against the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People's Army, its armed wing.

The group urged the government Wednesday to immediately end the military's harassment of the children and their families.

The army has denied the group's report.