Ex-rebel in Negros says NPA commander molested her

Manila, June 3 — A former New People’s Army (NPA) rebel in Negros Island has confirmed the sexual abuses suffered by female combatants like her in the hands of their comrades.

“Ka Rachelle”, now 20, surrendered to the government in 2018 after being part of the NPA’s Komiteng Rehiyon – Negros (KR-N) since she was 17.

In a video released by the Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade (303IBde) on Tuesday night, she admitted being a victim of sexual abuse.

“Ako ang buhi nga ehemplo nga gi-molestyahan sang akon nga mga kaupod. Ang akon nga commander gin-molestyahan nya ako sadtong panahon nga nag-TO (tactical operations) kami (I am a living example of someone who has been molested by my comrades. I was molested by my commander during the time we were conducting [tactical operations]),” she said.

“Ka Rachelle”, who was also a member of the Kabataang Makabayan, said the NPA cadre failed to act on the sexual abuses and they could not also report what they went through because they feared for their lives.

“May kaupod man ko nga gin-molestyahan man sang kaupdanan namon. Indi kami puede kapanugid kay nakulbaan kami kay patyon kami nila (I also had a comrade who was abused. We could not tell anyone because they might kill us),” she added.

Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of 303IBde, condemned the rampant sexual abuses committed by communist-terrorist commanders on their female combatants.

“It is a sham when their commanders trumpet that they respect the dignity of women. The testimony of ‘Ka Rachelle’ clearly speaks of the existing sexual abuses within their ranks. This evil act must be stopped,” Pasaporte said.

He noted that the birth control pills recovered by troops of the 94th Infantry Battalion after a clash with NPA rebels in Barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City on May 22 can be linked to the ongoing abuses on female NPA members.

“Once again, I encourage all female NPA combatants to abandon their group and return to their respective families. We will facilitate your return to living a normal life where the dignity of women is upheld,” Pasaporte said.

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