DOJ files rape charges vs. NPA leader
By Benjamin Pulta / Philippine News Agency
CHILD ABUSE. Former New People’s Army child warrior “Ka Shane” (2nd from left) files rape charges against her former platoon leader, Paterno Opo, in Calubian, Leyte on Oct. 29. 2020. On Friday (Jan. 14, 2022), the Department of Justice filed two more counts of rape against another NPA leader whom Shane also accused of sexually abusing her when she was still a minor. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army)
MANILA – Prosecutors lodged multiple rape charges against a New People's Army (NPA) rebel who was accused of sexually abusing a former comrade when the latter was just a teenager.
In a statement Friday, Department of Justice (DOJ) Undersecretary and spokesperson Emmeline Villar said upon the findings of probable cause, two counts of rape were filed against Rey Dela Peña (a.k.a. Reynaldo Santos).
The DOJ said the incidents happened on April 2016 in Barangay Mangayang, Dupax Del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya and on June 2016 in Barangay Minuli, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija against “Ka Shane” who was then an active member of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) - NPA assigned at the Caraballo Guerilla Front in Nueva Ecija.
She was alleged to have been lured by militant group Anakbayan in May 2011 into joining the Kabataang Makabayan and was sworn in as a cadre of the Youth Communist League in November 2011.
In January 2015, Shane became a part of the Rifle Formation of the Caraballo Guerilla Front and by the following month, promoted to a full-fledged member of the CCP.
Dela Peña was her squad leader and the vice commander of their platoon.
A witness, Francisco Cortez Baesa Jr., a staff of the Regional Operational Command of the NPA - Central Luzon from 2007 to 2018, said their platoon and squad leaders raped their female members.
On Oct. 29, 2020, Shane, then 17, also filed a rape complaint in Calubian, Leyte against Paterno Opo (alias Dodong), commander of the NPA sub-regional committee operating in Leyte and Biliran provinces.
“I suffered in the hands of our supposed superior when I was only 15 years old in the mountains of Calubian, Leyte in July 2018. This incident continues to haunt me until today and I want to seek justice,” Shane said during a press conference at the Calubian town hall that day.
Shane and her older sister, Ruffa, surrendered to the Army's 14th Infantry Battalion based in Kananga, Leyte on June 12, 2020.
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. (PNA)