DAVAO CITY – The death of New People’s Army (NPA) Commander, Ka Parago, brings back memories of the rape and killing of his daughter Rebelyn to family members.
“I can accept his death (Ka Parago) as it was his task. But I can never accept the death of Rebelyn. It was brutal and she never got justice,” said Evangeline Pitao, wife of Leoncio Pitao, who sported the nom de guerre Ka Parago Sandoval.
She said Ka Parago’s death “is the fulfillment of his being a revolutionary” while Rebelyn “was clearly a civilian who must not become target.”
“Like Rebelyn, what they did to Parago was brutal. He was hit by eight bullets, two hit his head. It would have sufficed to kill him with one or two,” she said.
Evangeline said Parago’s medic Ka Kyle “was also hit by two bullets in the back while she shouted she was a medic.”
Evangeline, Vangie to her friends, faced the media for the first time Friday morning since the death of Parago.
The scheduled press conference did not start immediately as scheduled.
Evangeline was about to read her prepared speech but stopped short to tap her chest.
“It is not just our loss as a family but the entire masses who Parago dedicated his skills, energy and being to,” she said voice trembling.
Evangeline accused the Army of “violating the International Humanitarian Law.”
“The same laws Parago strictly abided to and enforced whenever they capture and released (Army) prisoners of war,” she said.
She said “they (Army) must be happy with their brutality, even spreading pictures of Parago’s body in Facebook.”
Evangeline, in a separate interview before the press conference, said their whole family has been “wary of threats to our lives after Rebelyn’s killing.”
She said it is not her first engagement with the media and has exposed her face in public campaigns to demand justice for Rebelyn.
“It is clear that we are being hunted and this will not end in Parago’s death,” she said.
Rebelyn was abducted in March 2009 by suspected military intelligence agents.
She was found dead a day after in a ditch in Panabo City, Davao del Norte. Her mouth was taped, her hands bound and her body bore torture marks.
Police reports say she was raped and was stabbed to death.
Ka Parago vowed justice as he personally read in video footage the names of the suspects. Many of the suspects were said to be killed by the NPA themselves, while none were caught by the authorities.
“While we grieve for their deaths, we demand justice for Rebelyn, Parago and Ka Kyle,” said Evangeline.
Evangeline said they would file a case on the alleged IHL violations in the killing of Ka Parago and Ka Kyle before the Joint Monitoring Committee of (JMC).
The government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) formed the JMC after both parties signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) during the administration of President Joseph Ejercito Estrada. (davaotoday.com)