âSeriousâ threats force lawmaker to skip burial of daughter slain in encounter with military
Jevilyn Cullamat is laid to rest December 3, 2020 at a public cemetery in Lianga, Surigao del Sur.
Office of Rep. Eufemia Cullamat/Release

‘Serious’ threats force lawmaker to skip burial of daughter slain in encounter with military

(Philstar.com) - December 3, 2020 - 5:50pm

MANILA, Philippines — Fearing “serious” threats to her life and security, Rep. Eufemia Cullamat (Bayan Muna party-list) was forced to skip the burial of her daughter who was killed in an encounter with the military last Saturday.

Cullamat said in a statement that her family decided not to let her go home to attend her daughter Jevilyn’s burial.

“Even if I am a member of Congress, there is no assurance that I could safely attend my daughter's burial due to these threats,” Cullamat said in Filipino, adding that she is pained and saddened that she could not see her daughter for the last time.

Jevilyn, who was just 22 when she was killed by government troops in an encounter with the New People’s Army, was buried Thursday at a public cemetery in Lianga, Surigao del Sur.

The military itself identified Jevilyn as a medic for the communist rebel group. International humanitarian law prohibits attacks on medical personnel and also does not allow them to engage in hostilities.

Cullamat said it is no surprise that Jevilyn joined the NPA as a medic, considering that she wanted to become a nurse — a dream which the lawmaker said was “too high” for indigenous people who have been looked down upon by society.

Cullamat said she will always remember her daughter as a good child who was smart and garnered recognition in school.

In memory of Jevilyn, she vowed that she will do everything she can to reopen Lumad schools which were shut down by the education department, get justice for all slain Lumad, defend ancestral lands, win Lumad’s right to self-determination, and have a government that is truly free, humane and democratic.

Commission on Human Rights spokesperson Jacqueline De Guia said Wednesday that their regional office in Caraga has launched an investigation into the killing of Jevilyn and the supposed desecration of her body by the military. — Xave Gregorio

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