The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women condemns the military forces’ desecration of the remains of Jevilyn Cullamat, youngest daughter of Bayan Muna Representative Eufemia Cullamat, who was slain in an alleged encounter between AFP’s 3rd Special Forces Battalion and the New People’s Army in Surigao del Sur last November 28.

“Making Jevilyn’s lifeless body as a war trophy and shamelessly circulating to social media is a gross violation of international humanitarian laws and war protocols and a manifestation of the state forces’ grave lack of basic human decency,” Amihan national chairperson Zenaida Soriano said.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the Cullamat family who lost their precious loved one as a result of the systemic oppression and repression experienced by the lumad community,” Soriano added.

The group said that as the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation continue with its hearing on red-tagging, the AFP and NTF-ELCAC should stop using Jevilyn’s death to intensify red-tagging and other forms of attacks against national minorities, activists, agrarian reform advocates and human rights defenders,” Soriano said.

“The government should put itself in the shoes of people like Jevilyn. Saksi ang mga kabataang lumad sa kasaysayan ng pangangamkam sa kanilang lupang ninuno, kawalan ng mga batayang serbisyo, mga atake at pandarahas sa kanilang pagsisikap na ipaglaban ang kanilang karapatan sa lupa at edukasyon at sa patuloy na kawalang hustisya,” Soriano said.

“As long as the government fails to resolve the problems of poverty and hunger, massive landlessness, backward agriculture, unemployment and lack of basic national industries, armed conflict will persist,” Soriano ended. ###

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