Andrea Rosal case: Even rebels deserve proper justice

by Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 20 2014 08:49 PM | Updated as of May 21 2014 06:14 AM

MANILA - Security is tight in and outside the hospital room of Andrea Rosal, suspected member of the New People's Army (NPA) and daughter of the late communist leader Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal.

Mobile phones are surrendered at the doorway. Security personnel are stationed at the hallway and inside the room. No cameras are allowed inside.

Meanwhile the remains of Andrea's baby, Diona Andrea, lie in state at a church right across from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

Felicidad Rosal, Andrea's aunt and sister of Ka Roger, said this is a sad demonstration of the life of the Rosal family, whose members are constantly watched.

She said if only she could dig up her rebel brother, and ask him to take care of his daughter and grandchild, she would.

Felicidad said Andrea was abducted by the military when she was 3 years old, in an effort, she said, to make her father surrender.

Andrea was consequently released. Felicidad was then a sewer of mosquito nets. Now she owns a canteen in Batangas.

Felicidad said she remembers seeing Andrea's stomach with rashes while in BJMP detention in Camp Bagong Diwa.

She tried to bring water in for Andrea to help cool her in the heat of the cramped cell, but was not allowed.

Andrea slept on a flattened carton on the floor.

The 64-year-old aunt believes that had Diona Andrea lived, she would have suffered the same persecution from the government.

But while she did not enter the rebel life, she said her heart still goes out to the mother and the child.

Lawyer Persida Acosta of the Public Attorney's Office visited Andrea in the PGH, and went to the baby's wake.

She said the PAO is ready to help them with legal representation.

Even a rebel, as Andrea is accused of being, deserves proper justice, Acosta said.