The Commission on Human Rights and the Philippine National Police said they will assist in the quest for justice of a former rebel amazon, who joined the revolutionary movement at the age of 12, and was molested twice allegedly by a leader of the New People’s Army in northern Negros.
CHR provincial chief Romeo Baldevarona yesterday said he is taking the affidavits of the victim, identified only through her alias as Ka Shayna, and now 18 years old, and gathering more evidence, to reinforce the complaints against her molester.
Two weeks ago, Ka Shayna, in an interview with Baldevarona and local reporters, recounted her harrowing ordeal of being molested twice, allegedly by rebel leader Joselito Danoso, when she became 15 and 16 years old.
Chief Inspector Ehdel Pereira, chief of the Legal Division of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office and Bacolod City Police Office, said they will also initiate an investigation on the molestation claims of the former NPA amazon, who surrendered recently to the 62nd Infantry Battalion in northern Negros.
Shayna told the CHR that she was 15 when she was drugged by Danoso, a leader of the NPA unit with the codename “TMX”, and molested at their harboring area in Sitio Dogma, Brgy. Malatas, Calatrava.
The second molestation took place at a forested area of Sitio Odiong in Brgy. Bandila, Toboso, when she was 16.
Colonel Oscar Lactao, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said he will recommend that the former rebel young amazon be referred to a psychologist or psychiatrist for her traumatic experiences.
Ka Shayna also revealed that there were still seven minors in the NPA in northern Negros, after she left the movement in May.
By recruiting minors into the rebel movement, Lactao said the NPA violated the rights of the child, and this is a clear violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law.
The Communist Party of the Philippines said claims of the military that the NPA recruits children are "completely unfounded and are only desperate attempts to tarnish the image of the NPA before the public and the human rights community.”
The CPP reiterated that it maintains a policy prohibiting the recruitment of children below 18 years old as fighters of the NPA. "This policy prohibiting child combatants is being strictly observed by all units of the New People's Army," it added.*GPB