‘Abused’ wife blocks CA promotion of AFP general

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star
�Abused� wife blocks CA promotion of AFP general
Sen. Risa Hontiveros (not in photo) expresses support for the ad interim appointments of nine senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines yesterday during the meeting of the committee on national defense of the Commission on Appointments.
Jesse Bustos

MANILA, Philippines — The ad interim appointment of Brig. Gen. Ranulfo Sevilla was deferred yesterday after his wife accused him of domestic abuse, according to the Commission on Appointments (CA).

Sevilla is currently deputy commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)-Special Operations Command.

His confirmation was deferred anew by the CA national defense committee due to his wife’s opposition. He refused media interviews due to a gag order issued by the court amid cases filed over their marital dispute.

Tessa Luz Aura Reyes-Sevilla yesterday narrated to Senate reporters what she described as physical abuse by the military official, whom she also accused of infidelity.

Her husband, she said, gave only P2,000 in financial assistance for their two children and flaunted his extramarital affair by bringing his mistress to the AFP camp.

“He does not deserve to be a general because it is my belief that a general should be accountable to the people. He is the kind of person who oppressed the mother of his children. He does not deserve to be promoted,” she said.

She slammed the AFP for condoning her husband’s actions and urged authorities to look into the plight of wives abused by soldiers.

“I can no longer stay silent. No amount of sorry or money will make me back down. We deserve to be vindicated,” she added.

“To the gentlemen of the AFP, I hope you are hearing this: look into the sad life of the wives or partners of your men in the AFP. I have lost trust in the AFP,” she said.

In an ambush interview yesterday, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said the CA scrutinizes both the record in the service and the moral character of promoted officials seeking confirmation.

“It is Women’s Month today. This should send a strong signal that the CA also looks at the moral background of an individual,” Zubiri said.

The CA held an executive session on Sevilla’s appointment.

The appointments of the following officials were confirmed yesterday: Brigadier Generals Romulo Quemado II, Josel Zuñiga and Samuel Manzano; Philippine Army Colonels Juan Gullem, Mandy Libertino and Clifford Catubigan; Medical Corps Colonel Nereo Simbahan; Philippine Navy Captain Ted Cerezo Jr and Commodore Lemuel Espartinez.

‘Rating questionable’

The AFP’s 86 percent satisfaction rating is highly questionable, according to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

The rating came from a recent OCTA Research group survey.

“It is extremely doubtful that the survey firm OCTA even conducted interviews among rural populations; and if they ever did, it is doubtful whether they asked the right questions, or whether people could freely express their real opinion,” CPP information officer Marco Valbuena said in a message sent to journalists. — Artemio Dumlao

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