Black operations: 2-month old infant, three pregnant, one wounded Red fighter, kept as hostages by 402nd IBde in Caraga

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) condemns in the strongest terms the fascist-terrorist 402nd Infantry Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for kidnapping and keeping hostage a 2-month old infant, and for the abduction and keeping hostage of four Red fighters on medical leave, including three pregnant women, and another recuperating from injuries.

These cases of kidnapping, abduction and keeping hostages form part of their continuing black operations to capture NPA fighters by attacking their loved-ones, civilians and other dirty means in brazen violation of international humanitarian law and the laws of war. These evil and terrorist tactics of the AFP under the Marcos regime transgress even basic human decency.

The CPP urges all democratic sectors, human rights defenders, advocates of women’s rights, protectors of child-rights and all people with a sense of humanity to support the clamor:

Surface and free Baby Rhea!
Surface Ka Laiza!
Surface Ka Laile!

Baby Rhea is the daughter of NPA fighter Cherilyn Rebita (Ka Jan). Ka Jan was around 7-months pregnant when she was abducted by military agents last August 26, 2022 in Surigao del Norte. Also abducted on that day was NPA fighter Jackilyn Egtob (Ka Jane), who was on medical leave to recuperate from injuries. They were staying in a rented home with Roselle Polinar (Ka Palang), a civilian, who was then also pregnant.

The 402nd IBde used Armando Rabanes (“Dagat/Antoy”), a former NPA fighter turned traitor, JB Bautista, Jeffrey Muñez and and “Ondoy” to identify and capture the three women. The military agents introduced themselves as part of the “OPAPP,” apparently referring to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.

For 69 days, the two were illegally detained by military agents in a safe-house in a secluded part of Barangay Ata-atahon, Nasipit town, Agusan del Norte. They were subjected to severe mental torture with constant threats to their lives and their families.

On September 20, the military agents took the women to a hospital to undergo a checkup, close to a month after they were abducted. They were then interned for a week at the 402nd IBde headquarters in Barangay Bangcasi, Butuan City.

In violation of international humanitarian law, at no point during their capture, abduction and secret detention of Rebita and Egtob, where they declared and recognized by the AFP and by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) as prisoners of war. At no point where they allowed to get in touch with their families to inform them of their status. In violation of the laws of the GRP, neither were charged before Philippine courts or allowed legal representation. Their detention was never made public.

On October 10, while being kept hostage, Rebita gave birth to her daughter Baby Rhea, at the San Vicente Birthing Clinic. A few weeks later, Rebita and Egtob, were briefed about a “mission.” The military agents told them that they are to return to their NPA unit in order to convince Rebita’s husband (Ka Logan), as well as Egtob’s fiancé, and her brother, both Red fighters, to surrender. They were also tasked to steal three firearms.

The military agents also told Rebita that her baby daughter will be left behind and “monitored.” They also threatened to harm Polinar if ever Rebita and Egtob will “doublecross” them.

They were “released” on November 3. On that day, travel arrangements were made with their NPA unit, who were fed with misinformation and unaware of situation. Rebita and Egtob were to be brought to Butuan City to meet two other women Red fighters who were on schedule to go on medical leave.

At their meeting point, Aurily Havana (Ka Laiza), 23 years old, pregnant, and a resident of Barangay Lydia, La Paz, Agusan del Sur; and Jennifer Binungkasan (Ka Laile), 19 years old, from Sitio Bulak, Barangay Lower Olave, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte, both Red fighters, were captured and taken hostage by military agents.

The 402nd IBde has yet to publicly acknowledge the capture and detention of Ka Laiza and Ka Laile. Their whereabouts and status remain unknown.

Rebita and Egtob, meanwhile, were able to rejoin their unit and narrate their harrowing experiences.

The parents of Baby Rhea, and the families of Ka Laiza and Ka Laile demand the immediate surfacing and release of their loved ones. The father of Baby Rhea, and the husband of Ka Laile, both NPA fighters, have made their appeals on video posted on social media.

We urge everyone to support their cause and their demand for justice.

This is not the first time that the AFP has resorted to these black operations targeting the families and loved-ones of Red fighters and revolutionaries in their desperate drive to cause their surrender. Under the Department of National Defense (DND) and the National Task Force (NTF)-Elcac, there tactics of terror have grown worse and worse.

These black operations, in fact, are the concrete form of the “localized peace talks” being promoted by the AFP to force the surrender of NPA fighters through foul and despicable means.

The CPP holds the 402nd Infantry Brigade, specifically Brig. Gen. Adonis Ariel G. Orio, its commander, and its men and military agents, specifically “Dagat” Rabanes, responsible for war crimes over the kidnapping of Baby Rhea, and the abduction and illegal detention of Aurily Havana and Jennifer Binungkasan, and the abduction and two-month illegal detention of Cherilyn Rebita and Jackilyn Egtob.

Surface and return Baby Rhea to her family!

Surface and release Aurily Havana (Ka Layza) and Jennifer Binungkasan (Ka Laile)!

Justice for Cherilyn Rebita and Jackilyn Egtob!

Black operations: 2-month old infant, three pregnant, one wounded Red fighter, kept as hostages by 402nd IBde in Caraga