Rebels deny molestation allegations
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The New People’s Army (NPA) Roselyn Pelle Command yesterday accused the Philippine Army 79th Infantry Battalion (79 IB) of “making false stories” regarding last week’s gun battle in Barangay Guadalupe, San Carlos City.
In a message by spokesperson Ka Cecil Estrella, she said the 79 IB failed to defeat their “small unit” and claimed the army suffered two casualties from the incident.
She said the NPA unit defended itself and made an “organized retreat.”
In response to the story involving a certain Alyssa Sumulong, whose diary claimed she was subject to sexual molestation and rape attempts by male rebels, Estrella said the army was creating fake stories and dismissed Sumulong’s claims.
The spokesperson also denied the suspected sex offenders, identified only by the aliases Lando and Mori, were members of their group.
She said the NPA abides by the “3-8 discipline,” which includes respecting and not exploiting women, and noted their revolutionary court tackles complaints on the violation of human rights, such as the exploitation of women.
Despite the gun battle, Estrella said they still welcome the planned resumption of peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF), the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Last week, the 79 IB encountered an estimated 30 to 40 members of the NPA when they stumbled upon their camp in San Carlos City.
The army reported no one was hurt in the ensuing gun battle./DGB, WDJ