Philippines

Ex-NPA member shares tragic experience as rebel

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Ex-NPA member shares tragic experience as rebel
By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Feeling the pain of the parents who lost their children to left-leaning youth groups, a former member of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) shared her tragic experience in the hands of the group, tagged as a terrorist organization, to a lawyer and radio-television host.

“May” (not her real name), 28, recounted her ordeal to lawyer Bruce Villafuerte Rivera, and requested that her story be told to the public “so she could at least save one daughter from being lost”.

In a Facebook post, Rivera said: “She told me, her life is only for his son. If her story would save just one daughter from being lost, then it served the purpose”.

Rivera said May approached her on Facebook through common friends after she saw last week’s Senate hearing on missing minors, where mothers sought help from the government in getting back their children believed to be recruited by left-leaning youth groups.

Rivera said May began her story by saying that everything started out as an innocent acquaintance.

May met “Junior” (not his real name) when she was in high school in 2005, during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He was 22 and she was 14.

According to her, Junior was as a member of a leftist party-list group that won a seat in Congress during the 2004 elections and was assigned to recruit youth members.

“May wanted to be part of Junior’s world so she became a youth member of the group. She was one of the students who heavily protested against GMA when she made the ‘I am sorry!’ statement. She also protested every time a journalist was killed, particularly, Marlene Esperat,” Rivera said.

Rivera said that May, who was getting serious with her “advocacy”, engaged in “immersion trips” to Leyte, Mindoro, and Mindanao.

May’s aunt thought back then that the immersion trips were okay since “her trips were in summer and with a legitimate party-list”. However, May did not return home from her trip to Davao del Norte as she was already pregnant with Junior’s child.

“She gave birth to a baby boy in May 2009. Three months after, she was still in the rebel camps when she learned that Junior went to a European country to work there. In 2015, May would discover that Junior was never married and was married for the first time to an Austrian. May has become the ‘wife’ of numerous NPA cadres but they would eventually leave, surrender or get killed,” Rivera said on his Facebook post.

In 2018, May found a way to surrender to the government. She learned that her mother died of a drug overdose after her disappearance and that her younger brother recently died in a drug-related violence.

“Her aunt refuses to talk to her because of the way she left them and her so-called ‘revolutionary friends’ deny their connections and the party stood firm in their insistence that she was never a member,” Rivera said.

Rivera said he would not reveal May’s real identity to protect her and her son.

Now that May is a mother herself, she told Rivera that it pained her to see other mothers losing their children to an ideology that she once believed in and fought for, but ruined her.

“But this time, she has the power to decide for him. Something, her mom never got to do. And she knows it killed her,” he said.

Last week, the mothers of five missing youths recounted their ordeal and struggles in looking for their daughters recruited by Anakbayan before a Senate hearing on missing minors.

The parents said they lost contact with their children, who also left school, after joining the group, which is alleged to be a communist-front organization.

Rivera ended his Facebook post with a quote from Luis Taruc, one of the founders of CPP-NPA.

“I know now from experience, that the nationalism of the communists is indeed opportunism, and that they use it for their own ends. Any nationalist who makes an ally of the communist is going for a ride on a tiger,” it read.

The CPP-NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

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