Some NPA officials raped female insurgents, former rebel claims

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 03 2020 09:40 PM

This photo taken on July 30, 2017 shows female guerrillas of the New People's Army (NPA) in the Sierra Madre mountain range, located east of Manila. Noel Celis, AFP/file

MANILA - Some officers of the New Peoples Army sexually abused female members of the communist insurgency group, a former communist rebel claimed on Tuesday.

Lady Desiree Miranda, who said she was former chairperson of Anakbayan Central Luzon, alleged that she was raped "thrice" before she left the armed insurgency.

"Isa po ako sa buhay na patunay ng pang-aabuso sa kilusan," Miranda said during a Senate hearing.

(I am one of the living proof of the abuses within the communist movement.)

"Nineteen-year-old ako nung naranasan kong pagsamantalahan ang ng commanding officer namin. Naulit yun nung 20 years old ako," she said.

(I was 19 years old when I was first sexually abused by our commanding officer. I was raped again when I was 20 years old.)

Miranda said she fell into depression after she was raped for the third time.

"Nung hindi ko na kaya yung depression, sinabihan akong nababaliw daw ako... May sexual disorder daw po ako," she said.

(When I could not recover from depression, they told me I'm crazy... They said I have a sexual disorder.)

"Delikado daw ako sa mga kasamahang lalaki dahil baka gapangin ko daw sila kaya nila ako pinauwi," she said.

(They sent me home because they said I am a threat because I might rape male NPA members.)

Other female NPA fighters also experienced similar abuses, Miranda alleged, claiming that there are "women's sharing" groups within the NPA.

Under the CPP's law, members who sexually abuse others are sentenced to death, but this has not always been the case, said Jeffrey "Ka Eric" Celiz, another former communist rebel who is now working as a military consultant.

"Pag ikaw ay nahuli na nag-rape, pinapatay ka namin. That is automatic death sentence pero dahil ang nagco-commit ng rape ay matataas na ang katungkulan, puwedeng matago iyan," he said.

(If you are caught raping someone, we will have you executed. That is an automatic death sentence, but because the rapists are high-ranking officials, these cases are covered up.)

"We only use international humanitarian law when convenient," he said.

While several issues like "landlessness and poverty" are legitimate concerns, the NPA has also been violating its own laws and agreements under the Geneva convention, said "Ka Amihan," another former insurgent.

"May isang platoon leader or political instructor na imbis na mag-withdraw kami, nilaslasan niya pa ng leeg 'yung patay na tropa napaka-inhumane," he said.

(Instead of withdrawing from an ambush, there was a platoon leader or a political instructor who slit the neck of a dead soldier. It was very inhumane.)

"I really asserted for death penalty for that political instructor but others decided for a demotion instead," he said.

The NPA has become an organization that has "no principles," he said.

"'Yung mga sinasabi namin sa propaganda, sa social media, these are all deception," he said.

(The propaganda we spew on social media, these are all deception.)

"Hindi ito 'yung gusto kong advocacy. Hindi ito 'yung prinsipyo ko," he said.

(This is not the advocacy I want. This is not the principle that I have.)

Internal problems within the communist insurgency group were divulged during a Senate investigation on red-tagging as military officials presented former NPA members to senators to prove that the communist movement is a "two-faced monster."

The Senate Committee on National Defense and Security is expected to call another hearing on the issue to give several personalities who were tagged as communist supporters an opportunity to defend themselves.

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