Groups find remains of missing Batangas Red fighter

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Human rights group Tanggol Batangan reported that the body of missing Red fighter Baby Jane Orbe was found in February after a long search by relatives and human rights groups. Orbe was reported missing on December 17, 2023 following an attack by joint military and police forces on the temporary encampment of a New People’s Army (NPA)-Batangas unit in Barangay Malalay, Balayan, Batangas.

Orbe’s body was found in a sugarcane field in Barangay Malalay on February 14. On that day, they received information regarding a body found inside the sugarcane field. Given the skeletal remains, it is no longer possible to determine the identity of the body without DNA testing. However, based on the circumstances–place where the body was found, decomposition status and bullet wounds, physical characteristics such as height–the group and relatives identified it as the remains of the missing Orbe.

The group began a series of searches for Orbe on January 24. They searched and combed military camps, hospitals, and the scene of the incident but were unable to find the Red fighter.

At the time, Orbe was believed to be in the hands of the 59th IB following the NPA-Batangas report that she was injured in an attack by the military and police in Barangay Malalay. Human rights groups were unable to trace her as of December 2023 since her body was not among those the military presented.

Orbe is among the martyrs of Balayan. Martyred with her were Maria Jetruth Jolongbayan (Ka Orya), Alyssa Lemoncito (Ka Ilaya), Precious Alyssa Anacta (Ka Komi), Joy Mercado (Ka Kyrie), and Leonardo Manahan (Ka Mendel). Also killed in the military attack were civilians Pretty Sheine Anacta and Rose Jane Agda, who were visiting their Red fighter relatives.

Human rights groups then condemned the 59th IB for its repeated violation of international humanitarian law and the rules of war in relation to the mutilation and desecration of the victims’ remains.

AB: Groups find remains of missing Batangas Red fighter