In memory of Rebelyn, the daughter of a Philippine revolutionary


Around 6:30 in the evening

When she was abducted

An evening after

She was found dead

In a creek

Clad only in underwear

She bore several stabs

Her hands tied

Her mouth bound with masking tape

She is 20 years old

A Teacher

A daughter of a revolutionary

Her name is Rebelyn Pitao. She is the daughter of New People's Army (NPA) commander Leoncio Pitao, known also as Commander Parago. On her way home in a tricycle a white van blocked her path. Alighting from the van, armed men forcibly took her from the tricycle and boarded her to the white van on the evening of March 5, 2009. She shouted for help. The tricycle driver went back to the terminal to seek help. The incident occurred in Bago Gallera, Talomo District, Davao City (Mindanao, Philippines). The day after, her lifeless body was found in a creek with marks of physical torture, and yes, humiliation.

Rebelyn's mother appealed that her daughter is not involved with the armed option and revolutionary actions being undertaken by her father. The mother unquestionably blamed the military for this atrocity and cruelty. For her, only the military could have had such a motive of abducting her daughter.

The mother said, "Rebelyn is unarmed. She is a civilian who earns her living in a decent manner."

Must the daughter be used to force a revolutionary to give up his option? Must death of his nearest kin be the collateral to demoralize, humiliate and crush the father who has chosen the armed revolutionary path?

There is a war going on in our land. The cowards are those who use treacherous, ruthless, and brutal tactics. They end up using despicable means to fight knowing fully well that they would never win in a battle just by observing justified rules in the conduct of engagements.

The abduction, torture, assault and killing of Rebelyn must be condemned in the strongest terms.

(On March 8), women around the world will be observing the International Women's Day to honor the women who struggled and worked for justice around the globe. It is a continuing challenge for the women today to carry forward the struggles of women as we dream of humanity living with honor and dignity.

Rebelyn is another woman, whose young life was snuffed out in cold-blood. Her mother could only grieve for her and so with her father, the family and the rest of humanity.

We shall remember Rebelyn, a youth, teacher, a daughter of a rebel. There could have been promises of a better future for her. There could have been opportunities for her to be of service to the community as a teacher. But the wicked cowards made it sure that she would die in a most horrendous way.

Perhaps it was to humiliate the father and to demoralize him. Some classical tools of the tyrants to bring death to its enemies, and subdue the struggles of the dissenters.

Norma P. Dollaga
879 Edsa, Quezon City, Philippines

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