Military fires against and arrests pregnant Dumagat-Remontado in Aurora

This article is available in Pilipino

Soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) opened fire on the hut where 4-month pregnant Manilyn dela Cruz and her relatives reside in Sityo Pinamapayan, Barangay Umiray, Dingalan, Aurora on April 21.

The shooting injured dela Cruz as she ran to avoid being hit. The military falsely claims the incident was an encounter with the New People’s Army (NPA). Dela Cruz is a Dumagat-Remontado native from Tanay, Rizal.

After the staged encounter, soldiers arrested de la Cruz on multiple charges including arson, attempted murder, direct assault with multiple murder, and attempted murder. She is accused of being a member of the NPA.

The National Democratic Front (NDF)-Southern Tagalog condemned the soldiers for the indiscriminate shooting and arbitrary arrest of dela Cruz. Ka Patnubay de Guia, spokesperson of the NDF-ST, said it is unjust for the soldiers to continue detaining de la Cruz.

The military’s targeting of a civilian, most especially a pregnant woman like dela Cruz, is a serious violation of international humanitarian law, the laws of war and other international declarations that provide special protections to civilians and non-combatant wherever there is armed conflict.

The United Nations General Assembly’s Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict on December 14, 1974 specifically defined as a war crime “all forms of repression and cruel and inhuman treatment of women and children, including imprisonment, torture, shooting, mass arrests, collective punishment, destruction of dwellings and forcible eviction, committed by belligerents in the course of military operations (Number 5).”

To cover up its crime, the 91st IB and AFP Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) are now hypocritically touting their “rescue and provision of medical attention” to dela Cruz. She was taken to the Fort Magsaysay Army Station Hospital and eventually transferred to a hospital in Cabanatuan City due to her critical condition. She remains in military custody.

Ka Patnubay said NOLCOM is using the “care” of the victim to glamorize its otherwise bloody record of extrajudicial killing of captured revolutionary leaders and Red fighters, cases of abduction and enforced disappearance.

AB: Military fires against and arrests pregnant Dumagat-Remontado in Aurora