Cullamat : You can’t use my slain daughter as evidence to red-tag us
MANILA, Philippines — Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat broke down in tears as she narrated how her slain daughter’s remains were used as a “trophy of war” after she was killed in an encounter between soldiers and the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.
In a video clip presented by Bayan Muna during Tuesday’s Senate hearing on the alleged red-tagging by military officials, Culliamat said her daughter’s death should not be used as evidence against her organization.
“Lilinawin ko lamang, walang kinalaman ang Bayan Muna sa naging desisyon ng aking anak. Hindi niyo siya maaaring gamiting ebidensya para sa red-tagging ng aming organisayon,” Cullamat said.
(Let me be clear, Bayan Muna has nothing to do with my daughter’s decision. You cannot use her as evidence for the red-tagging of our organization.)
“Personal niyang desisyon ang kanyang sinusunod. Hindi sa akin, lalo’t hindi sa Bayan Muna,” she added.
(That is her personal decision. Not mine, and most especially not Bayan Muna’s.)
According to the Philippine Army, Cullamat’s daughter, Jevilyn, who allegedly serves as a medic for the NPA, was killed in an encounter with the 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3SFBn) last Nov. 28.
She said she respected her daughter’s decision to join the armed struggle, adding that Jevilyn was not a blind follower.
“Gusto niyong kondenahin ang Bayan Muna si Jevilyn? Hindi po. Intindihin niyo muna ang hirap na paingasdadaanan naming mga Lumad sa araw-araw,” the lawmaker said.
(You want us to condemn Jevilyn? No. It would help if you first understood the everyday struggles of the Lumads.)
“Alamin niyo ang problema ng aming komunidad. Itigil ninyo ang pangggipit sa amin, igalang ninyo ang namatay, ang aking pagluluksa, ang aming pagluluksa. Sana’y pakinggan ng kapulungang ang aking isang hiling bilang ina, ina na hindi na kahit kailan man makakapagbalik ng kanyang anak,” she added.
(Figure out the problem of our community. Stop harassing us, respect the dead, my mourning, our mourning. I hope the court will hear my request as a mother, a mother who will never be able to return her child.)
She also blasted the Philippine Army anew for “parading” her daughter’s remains.
“Sinasabi ng militar na namatay daw ang aking anak sa isang armed encounter ng mga NPA. At para patotohanan ang kanilang sinasabi, walang awa nilang pinarada ang bangkay ng aking anak, kasama ang di umano’y nasamsam na armas at kagamitan ng NPA,” Cullamat said.
(The military said that my daughter died in an armed encounter with the NPA rebels. To prove this, they paraded the remains of the daughter, together with the firearms allegedly seized from the NPA.)
According to the Philippine Army, Jevilyn’s remains were immediately evacuated, and her siblings and members of her family were notified of the passing before making her death public.
“The military provided security and transportation assistance to the Cullamat family and coordinated with the nearest mortuary for the proper handling of the cadaver,” the Army said.
“Pinaslang siya, ginawa pang tropeyo ng digma para lang magamit sa kanilang paninira sa aming tribo, sa aming pamilya at sa aming organisayon,” she added.
(She was killed and was even used as a trophy of war to use against our tribe, family, and organization.)
“Mahal ko ang aking anak, hindi ko siya kailanman ikahihiya, o ikatatawa. Ako ang nagpasilang sakanya. Mabait siya, walang ibang hangad kundi matulungan ang mga Lumad laban sa mga nangaapi sa amin,” she further said.
(I love my daughter. I will never be ashamed of her. I gave birth to her. She is kind and wanted nothing but to help the Lumads against oppression.) [ac]
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