Human rights alliance Karapatan assailed the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for its abduction and continued illegal detention of four individuals and branding them as “surrenderees.”
Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said Aurily Havana and Jennifer Binungkasan, women fighters of the New People’s Army who were pregnant when abducted last November 2022, as well as Roselle Polinar, a civilian who was also pregnant when abducted last August, were presented along with a man named Cesar Corella by the Eastmincom on January 7 as “NPA surrenderees.” Also abducted with Polinar was her husband JR, but his whereabouts remain unknown.
“Their being mispresented as surrenderees conceals the fact that they were illegally detained, tortured and intimidated in violation of International Humanitarian Law, the Anti-Torture Law and the Anti-Desaparecido Law,” said Palabay.
Palabay demanded that the officers of the Eastmincom, the 402nd Bde and their military and civilian agents be held accountable for these violations. “It is even more despicable that the AFP and its cohorts committed these violations while taking advantage of the victims’ vulnerable condition as pregnant women,” said Palabay.
“The AFP has no justification whatsoever for keeping Aurily, Jennifer, “JR” and Roselle in detention as they have not been charged with any crime,” said Palabay. “They should be allowed to go home to their families immediately and not held like prisoners by the Eastmincom.”