WHILE extending his sympathies for the death of Jevilyn Cullamat, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. emphasized that the daughter of Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat is a victim of violence launched by the armed movement which the government condemns.
In a statement, Esperon said not the military but her own family should be blamed for the “lost life” as her own mother Rep. Eufemia and the entire family is supporting the New People’s Army (NPA).
Likewise, Esperon called on allies of NPA particularly the Makabayan bloc not to politicize and romanticize the death of Jevilyn by calling her a martyr.
“I refuse to call her as such. Jevilyn was not a martyr. She was deceived into sacrificing her life for a cause lacking legitimacy and noble purpose. She was a victim of manipulative organization that has taken advantage of her from the moment she was radicalized until her recruitment into the armed struggle,” Esperon stressed.
Jevilyn, a doctor, was the lone fatality during an encounter between the military and the NPA in Marihatag, Surigao del Sur. The NPA members left her lifeless body on a highway after the encounter. Military reports said the 22-year-old woman served as a medic of the NPA.
According to Esperon, a former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff, Jevilyn was recruited in the NPA during her early years as student at Tribal Indigenous Filipinos Phil-Surigao del Sur and Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV).
He added that Jevilyn graduated to become full-fledged NPA combatant and medic in the SYP Platoon, Guerilla Front 19.
Esperon slammed the NPA for abandoning the lifeless body of Jevilyn during the November 29 encounter in Barangay San Isidro.
“Are these the same compatriots that she dedicated herself to? Is this the same movement that claims to espouse the value of comradeship? This is how the CPP-NOA repays the life that Jevilyn had laid down for their cause,” Esperon said.
At the continuation of the Senate hearing on the red tagging issue, Esperon maintained the link of Makabayan bloc and NPA particularly in the recruitment of members. More witnesses were presented in the hearing to elaborate on sthe involvement of Makabayan solons in the recruitments process.
Esperon, vice chairman of the National Task Force End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), reiterated that Makabayan lawmakers are acting as legal fronts of the CPP-NPA.
“You cannot deny responsibility for the recruitment of our youth by the NPA. It is your front organizations that eradicate these young minds in their early years in the League of Filipino students (LFS) and Kabataan party-list,” he added.
Esperon said the death of Jevilyn is only one of the instances evidencing the Cullamat clan’s involvement with the CPP-NPA and its front organizations.
Jevilyn’s relatives like her uncle Pablito Campos Jr. was arrested for being Secretary of Guerilla Front 21 while aunt Gloria Campos Tumalon was the leader of MAPASU and arrested for kidnapping and serious detention.
Esperon then dared the Makabayan bloc to join the government in condemning the NPA as an internationally recognized terrorist organization.