MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights said it is looking into the case of Jevilyn Cullamat, the daughter of a party-list lawmaker who was killed in a clash between soldiers and the New People’s Army last week.
Rep. Eufemia Cullamat (Bayan Muna party-list) filed Tuesday a complaint before the CHR alleging that the military desecrated the remains of Jevilyn, her 22-year-old daughter.
“My daughter’s remains were ruthlessly and crassly paraded and displayed as if it were a trophy won by soldiers who posed in the background,” Cullamat said in Filipino in a letter to CHR chairperson Chito Gascon.
The Bayan Muna solon said what the soldiers did to the remains of her youngest daughter violated international laws, particularly Article 16 of the fourth Geneva Convention, which states that all parties to a conflict shall protect all killed against “pillage and ill-treatment.”
Lawyer Jacqueline De Guia, the commission’s spokesperson, said the CHR Caraga Regional Office has already launched an investigation into the case of Jevilyn.
“We promise to work closely with the family of the victim and the authorities to shed light on the incident,” De Guia said.
She added that the representatives from the House of Representatives’ Makabayan bloc had a dialogue about the rampant cases of red-tagging—or labelling individuals and groups as communists or terrorists—and other human rights violations against members of progressive organizations.
In an earlier statement, the commission said it could not “find good reason in posting for photos” with the dead body of Cullamat alongside seized firearms and communist flags.
Jevilyn, who served as a medic of the NPA, was the lone casualty in the encounter last Saturday, the army reported.
CHR’s De Guia said the commission also “notes” the request for investigation of the family of former National Democratic Front peace consultants Eugenia Magpantay and Agaton Topacio. The two consultants, both 69 years old, were killed in a police encounter in Angono, Rizal. — Gaea Katreena Cabico
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