The Nona Del Rosario Command – New People’s Army Ifugao ( NDRC – NPA Ifugao) condemns with utmost severity the lastest reported rape case perpetrated by the soldiers of the 54th IBPA towards minors in Tinoc, Ifugao.
The victim, then 15-year old, was first raped in November 2018. She was alone in their house doing their laundry when Paul Tamang of the 54th IBPA assaulted her. In March 2019, the same soldier tried to befriend her and to talk about what happened months back, only to end up being raped for the second time. Few months after, some elements of the 54th IBPA who identified themselves as “Wali” and “Bolusan,” offered the family an amount of 70,000 pesos, and informed them that Paul was just a new soldier and has been transferred to a different unit following the incident. The victim, her family and the entire community continue to seek justice for the violence and oppression they have experienced.
The 54th IBPA have been pestering the communities of Ifugao since March 2018 to implement the bloody war of the US-Duterte Regime against the oppressed ans struggling Filipino people. The recent rape case happened during the ecampment of a unit of 54th IBPA in the victim’s community under the banner of Community Support Program Operations (CSPO).
The CSPO, much like its predecessors – Peace and Development Team (PDT) and Community Organizing for Peace and Development (COPD) of the past puppet regime, is an integral part of the AFP’s combat operations while it pretends to ensure the welfare of the people. Aside from justifying the encampnent of communities and the human rights violations that comes with it, it disrupts the livelihood of the people, destroys the harmony of communities by sowing disinformation and lies, and desperately criminalizes the NPA and revolutionary movement to suppress the legitimate struggles of the people.
It is as if too easy for the military and police personnel to commit heinous crimes and get away with them since is their commander-in-chief Duterte openly abetted and emboldened them to carry out violent attacks against the people and disregard human rights. Duterte has displayed the worst kind of mmisogyny calling on his troops to rape women or shoot them in the vagina to make them useless. Thus encouraged by Duterte’s open fascist exhortation, soldiers and police personnel are brazenly abusing thier powers in the conduct of its war of suppression.
Since 2008, there have been three reported rape cases perpetrated by the forces of 54th IBPA. Adding to their crimes are the countless complaints of sexual harassment, majority of which are with regards to their courting of women, even highschool students in various barangays of the province of Ifugao. The recent case once again prove that until these fascist military forces are allowed unimpeded entrance to communities, the women and children are forever susceptible to sexual abuse and other forms of violence. Their mere presence poses as a great danger to every civilian as their nature do not respect the rights of the people.
The NDRC-NPA Ifugao calls on to all the people of Ifugao to unite to fight for thier rights to a safe and peaceful life that has bee denied to them by the continous presence of fascist military forces. The people must continue to expose and condemn all forms of human rights violation by the military; and demand that all the perpetrators of crimes, against the people be made accountable and punished.
Lastly the NPA and the people must vigorously struggle to resist and end Duterte’s fascist regime through the intensification of the people’s war. At the heart of the national democratic revolution is the aspiration for a just society where these injustices will all become faint memories of a bygone era. Let us steel ourselves to fight to build a better system, a better future, that the people of Ifugao deserve.