CIDG, victims file criminal raps vs. Sison, 3 other Red leaders
By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan / Philippine News Agency
MANILA – The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has filed four criminal cases against Jose Maria Sison and three other leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) before the Department of Justice (DOJ).
In a statement released on Tuesday, CIDG chief, Maj. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, along with former CPP-NPA-NDF members and other organizations appeared before the DOJ to file complaints against Sison, Redsa Balatan, Rey dela Pena alias “Reynaldo Santos”, and Joel Caliwliw.
Former rebel Lady Desiree Miranda alias “Ka Shane” and her two witnesses identified as Florida Versola Sibayan alias “Ka Pong” and Francisco Cortez Baesa Jr. alias “Buboy” joined the filing of cases along with investigators of the Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Unit (AFCCU) and Women and Children Complaint Unit (WCCU), and other members of CIDG Task Force Makabayan.
Balatan allegedly violated Republic Act 9208 or Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and RA 7610 or Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act for recruiting Miranda while Pena and Caliwliw face two counts and four counts of rape, respectively.
In her complaint, Miranda said she was recruited by Balatan at the age of 14 as a member of Anakbayan, a CPP-NPA-NDF front organization involved in above-ground works.
Miranda received radicalization courses and became an NPA urban operator before joining the communist terrorism (Red Area Operation) at the CARABALLO Guerrilla Front covering the areas on Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, and Pangasinan.
She became a full-pledge member of the NPA at the age of 18.
“Miranda was an example of a trafficked child who completed the cycle of the act of recruitment, deception, and exploitative purpose to engage a child in armed activities by the CTG," Ferro said.
While in the communist terrorist group, Miranda was raped by her commander dela Pena sometime in 2016, molested by her vice squad leader Alvin Soria alias “Ka Bunso” in 2017, and sexually assaulted by Caliwliw in 2018.
When she tried to call the attention of CPP-NPA-NDF leadership, Miranda was dismayed because instead of getting the justice she deserved, the CTG officials mocked her and maligned her as somebody who has posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a "sex addict", and was branded as mentally deranged.
Miranda decided to leave the group and surrendered to the government through her family after failing to get the promise of medical assistance from the CTG.
Sison is presently in the Netherlands, while Balatan, dela Pena, and Caliwliw are detained at Nueva Ecija provincial jail in Caalibangbangan, Cabanatuan City; at Bambang Police Station, Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya; and at Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) provincial jail in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, respectively.
“The CIDG, as mandated by law, has the duty to serve and protect the country and its citizenry without prejudice or bias,” Ferro said.
Ferro said the justice that Miranda wants to get “is now in the hands of the DOJ” based on the witnesses and evidence she and the CIDG presented to the DOJ.
“Hindi po natin isinasantabi ang pagtulong sa sinumang biktima ng krimen kabilang rito ang ating mga kababayang nagbalik-loob sa gobyerno upang mabigyang hustisya ang pananamantalang kanilang sinapit sa kamay ng grupong minsan nilang inaniban (We do not set aside any help we can give to the victims of crimes, including our countrymen who surrendered to the government to bring justice to the exploitation they suffered at the hands of the group they once joined),” Ferro said.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The NDF has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)