Claiming she was abused, an 18-year-old member of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) who served as a medic of its Guerrilla Front (GF) has recently surrendered to the Army’s 26th Infantry Battalion.
2Lt. Cecille Tappa, 26Ib civil-military operations officer, told Philippine News Agency on November 30, 2020, that “Banjie” (not her real name) could not anymore stay in the communist rebel movement when another rebel sexually abused her.
“She was impregnated by her colleague inside the movement. Now she is pregnant,” Tappa said.
Banjie and another female NPA member, “Denden,” 40, voluntarily surrendered on November 26 to the 26IB headquarters in Talacogon, Agusan del Sur.
Denden, who served at GF 88 as a Militia ng Bayan (MB) for seven years, is a mother of eight children, Trappa said, adding that she handed over a .45-caliber pistol with a magazine and ammunition.
In a statement issued by 26IB on Monday, Denden was quoted as saying that the hardships she experienced inside the NPA pushed her to surrender.
“I could no longer endure the hardships inside the movement. My eight children need me now. There’s no use fighting with the communist movement. We also have the right to live peacefully with our family, especially with my children,” Denden said.
Lt. Col. Reynald Romel A. Goce, 26IB commanding officer, noted that Denden and Banjie’s surrender coincided with the “18 Day Campaign to End Violence against Women, “under Presidential Proclamation 1172.
Goce said the observance seeks to protect women’s rights and address all forms of gender-based violence.
“The deceptive recruitment of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) on women to be fighters for the communist cause and even become sex slaves where they are physically and sexually abused is a grave violation of women’s rights and fundamental freedoms,” Goce said.
“You don’t have the right to abuse these women, many have spoken out about your violations against women, and it must be stopped now,” the Army official added.
He also called on the other female NPA rebels to abandon the revolutionary group and return to their families.
“Surrender now, just like what Denden and Banjie did. Your children and your families are waiting for you. Be a mother to your children and a child to your mother,” Goce said.
The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)