Rights groups denounce continuous pressure on the relatives and families of the martyrs in Quezon

, ,
This article is available in Pilipino

Karapatan-Southern Tagalog condemned the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for their persistent intimidation and harassment against the relatives of Divine Sureta (Ka Zoe) and Paul Cruz (Ka Isko), who were martyred in the encounter in Guinayangan, Quezon on March 28. Soldiers and police also greatly delayed and obstructed the delivery of the bodies to their families.

Karapatan-Southern Tagalog report says Sureta’s remains have been delivered to the Manide community in Barangay Tabas, Paracale, Camarines Norte to allow her family and tribe give a proper burial. When it arrived in the community, the 9th IB and PNP Camarines Norte 2nd Police Mobile Force Company were already waiting. “They really don’t want Divine’s family and tribe to hold a quiet and peaceful burial for her,” the group said angrily.

A few days before, Sureta’s team and family suffered severe threats, harassment and intimidation. Soldiers encamp in the funeral home where the remains of the martyrs are interred.

“The harassment of the Karapatan-Southern Tagalog team and Sureta’s family is expected to intensify,” according to the group. In the face of this, human rights defenders stand bravely and unite with Sureta’s family.

Meanwhile, dela Cruz’s remains have been blessed and obtained by the family.

Tribute and honor

The Party Committee in Quezon paid tribute and honor to the two martyred New People’s Army (NPA)-Quezon Red fighters. “With their arms raised in salute, every Red fighter and NPA commander and all revolutionary citizens salute and clench their fists to the greatness of Ka Zoe and Ka Isko,” according to the committee statement. They assert that the lives of Ka Zoe and Ka Isko were not wasted.

Ka Zoe was born on May 14, 1990 in Paracale, Camarines Norte. She belongs to the Manide tribe, a community of indigenous people found in Camarines Norte and some towns of Quezon. She became a full-time NPA fighter in 2016.

Ka Zoe participated in the mobilization of mass campaigns for increasing the price of copra and coconuts in the towns of Santa Elena and Capalonga of Camarines Norte. She is also known as Ka Joy in Quezon-Bicol Zone and Ka Jervin in Quezon.

“Ka Zoe has become a great honor for the Manide tribe. They are proud of their fellow minority who is also their beloved teacher in writing, reading and counting,” according to the Committee’s tribute.

Meanwhile, the Committee also offered high recognition for Ka Isko, a member of the Provincial Committee of the Party when martyred. “The more than a year that Ka Isko spent in various NPA-Quezon fronts has been worthwhile,” they said.

“The necessary adaptation to guerrilla life was not easy for young Ka Isko who grew up in the city. But his determination was high he remolded himself alongside the peasant warrior and other oppressed people, along with his role among the unit’s political officers,” according to the statement.

The Committee called on all members of the Party in the province and revolutionary organizations here to present and exalt the life and example of Ka Zoe and Isko.

AB: Rights groups denounce continuous pressure on the relatives and families of the martyrs in Quezon