Esperon: Daughter of leftist solon victim, not martyr, of NPA
MANILA, Philippines—Jevilyn Cullamat, daughter of a left-wing member of the House of Representatives, was a victim not a martyr, according to National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. on Tuesday (Dec. 1).
While expressing sympathy for the death of Jevilyn, daughter of Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat, Esperon said Jevilyn “lost her life for a forsaken cause.”
Esperon said Jevilyn, who was killed in Surigao del Sur in a clash between New People’s Army (NPA) and the military, was meted the death sentence as soon as she joined NPA, which Esperon said had been condoned by her family.
“Jevilyn was not a martyr,” said Esperon, armed forces chief of staff of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
“She was deceived into sacrificing her life for a cause lacking any noble purpose,” he said in a statement.
Esperon said Jevilyn’s death has been “politicized” and “romanticized.”
Jevilyn, whom soldiers tagged as NPA medic, was a “victim of a manipulative organization that has taken advantage of her from the moment she was radicalized until her recruitment into the armed struggle,” Esperon said.
Representative Cullamat earlier hailed her daughter as hero of the lumad, who joined NPA because of continuing military abuse of lumad communities
Esperon said the lawmaker showed she lacked remorse over the death of her daughter in the company of guerrillas.
“It pains me that even in her daughter’s death, Representative Cullamat cannot show remorse and has gone so far as extolling the false advocacy and political agenda of the armed revolution,” Esperon said.
He said other relatives of Jevilyn were also members of NPA and involved in criminal cases, like kidnapping and murder.
“We see the deep-rooted radicalization of the extended Cullamat family and the exploitation of the indigenous peoples’ community,” Esperon said.
He called on NPA backers to ponder on their support for the armed revolution which, he said, “has claimed the lives of thousands of Filipinos.”
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