Fourteen years have passed since a young guerilla fighter named Jelyn Dayong surrendered to the Philippine Army. Her previous life with the New People's Army may have slid through tough moments for a cause she can't grasp to understand but her wise decision to surrender gave her the most meaningful life she now has today.
She was thirteen years old at the time when she ran away from home in order to escape marriage. Too young and with a fragile mind, rebels took advantage of her weakness and recruited her to adapt their cause.
It was sometime February 1999 when resting somewhere in the mountain along with 19 other NPA comrades, a group of Scout Rangers engaged and surrounded them in Sitio Baglamag, Barangay Perdida, Alegria, Surigao del Norte. In the middle of the fireflight, Dayong was wounded while her comrades left her hopeless, fleeing away from the hot zone.
Meeting government troops in the area, it gave her the most scariest experience of her life having thoughts of her last breathe be taken away. To her surprise, our soldiers gave her the appropriate care in return.
It was not easy winning this young girl's heart full of left ideologies. A year of support and therapeutic help was given under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development by letting her attend bible study sessions, rebel returnee testimonials, and one-on-one sessions to name a few.
The new Dayong she now chooses to be granted her the future. After being able to finish high school, she decided to join the Philippine Army serving as a public servant and a true soldier for the masses. Others may not be as fortunate as she is but she is doing all her best to inspire the youth for choosing the right path.
A news clipping from the paper named Inquirer dated January 10, 2000 said, "The recruitment of child rebels started to swell after the surrender of Jelyn Dayong." While initially thought to be an isolated case, it was soon found that the NPA has recruited a staggering 86 child rebels in Mindanao alone. This is a clear violation in the international Convention on the Rights of the Child.
It has always been the goal of this blog to promote peace and condemn the people who promote armed struggle, especially those who recruit minors just for the success of their laughable cause. I am for peace, no to armed struggle!