Daughter of Bayan Muna solon dies in encounter with military
Firearms recovered were three (3) AK-47 rifles, one (1) M14 rifle, and one (1) M653 5.56 caliber rifle.
Release / 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion, Philippine Army

Daughter of Bayan Muna solon dies in encounter with military

(Philstar.com) - November 29, 2020 - 4:58pm

MANILA, Philippines (Update 6:02 p.m.) — Jevilyn Campos Cullamat, the youngest daughter of Rep. Eufemia Cullamat (Bayan Muna), passed away in a shootout with elements of the Philippine Army on Saturday.

She was just 22 years old. 

In a report published Sunday afternoon, the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion of the Philippine Army said that Cullamat's remains was left behind after a 45-minute encounter with the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion took place in barangay San Isidro, Marihatag in Surigao del Sur.

A separate report by Kalinaw News, an online news site publicly owned by the Civil-Military Operations Regiment of the Philippine Army, also said that the Philippine Army’s 3rd Special Forces Battalion engaged in an encounter with some 30 NPA forces. The rebels "withdrew" after the encounter, it said. 

Cullamat was the only casualty.  

After the incident, Army personnel also seized three AK-47 rifles, one M14 rifle and one M653 5.56 caliber rifle along with five backpacks containing war subversive documents.

RELATED: Bayan: Why is the burden on us to prove we're not a rebel front?

Military officials said in the same report that Cullamat served as a medic of the New People's Army and belonged to the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda Platoon of Guerilla Front 19, Northeastern Regional Committee.

Her identity was confirmed by nine former rebels and the Cullamat siblings, the report said.

"The cadaver of Cullamat was immediately evacuated and her siblings and members of her family were immediately notified prior to this report. 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 report also said. 

A mother's grief

The elder Cullamat, meanwhile, says she was not surprised her daughter joined the NPA having experienced the "abuses" of the military.

"Di ako nagtataka kung sumapi sa NPA ang aking anak dahil sa patuloy na nararanasan naming mga katutubo sa mga pagmamalupit at pang-aabuso ng AFP at ng kanilang mga paramilitary groups. Naranasan mismo ito ng aming pamilya," the Manobo leader said.

(I am not surprised my daughter joined the NPA because we natives have experienced the oppression and abuse of the AFP and their paramilitary groups. Our family experienced this firsthand.)

The lawmaker added that Jevilyn was at the right age to make decisions for herself and she believes that what her daughter was fighting for was reasonable.

"Walang kapantay ang aking dalamhati sa pagpatay ng militar sa aking anak na si Jevilyn. Dumagdag ang dugo ng aking anak sa libong kalumaran na nagpatak ng dugo sa lupa para sa kalayaan at laban sa historikong pang-aapi sa aming hanay," Rep. Cullamat added.

(My grief over the military killing my daughter Jevilyn is unparalleled. My child's blood adds to the thousands of bloodshed on the ground for freedom against historical oppression in our ranks.)

According to the rules of war under international humanitarian law, particularly Rule 25, permanent medical personnel “shall be respected and protected at all times: they may not be made the object of attack but may not participate in hostilities either."

The shootout happened amid an ongoing Senate probe on red-tagging. Rep. Eufemia Cullamat (Bayan Muna) is among the lawmakers under the House Makabayan bloc being accused without proof of being communist rebels. 

— Franco Luna with report from Xave Gregorio

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