By Lance Ryan J. Villarosa

Super soldiers—or the concept that there exists a specific class of soldiers possessing strengths and competence rivaling that of fiction, used to belong solely in the realm of comic books. However, with the enactment of R.A. 11188, it no longer is difficult to imagine the possibility of Super Soldiers through the least expected source: Children. R.A. 11188 commendably declares children, among others, as “Zones of Peace”—absolutely declaring that children can never be the object of an attack and entitling them to special respect in times of armed conflict. However, such noble intention desecrates one of the foundational pillars of International Humanitarian Law: Distinction. R.A. 11188, in sweeping terms, ignores the continued reality of child soldiers and creates a civilian-soldier hybrid who can kill but cannot be killed in the eyes of the law. In the day-to-day warfare situation where a soldier carries the responsibilities of eliminating combatants, saving civilians, and preserving his own life, making him second guess every interaction with a child, who no longer needs to feign innocence, imposes too heavy a burden on him to carry.

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