the curious case of rebelyn pitao

March 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm 19 comments



rebelyn pitao was a substitute teacher teaching grade school students at a local school in southern philippines. last wednesday, she was abducted by unidentified men on her way home. when she was reported missing, authorities pooh-poohed the incident and assumed she eloped with her boyfriend. but she didn’t. the following day her half-naked body was found in an irrigation canal. it showed signs that she was tortured, raped, and stabbed to death. she would have celebrated her 21st birthday on march 20.

rebelyn was the daughter of the popular commander parago of the new people’s army who proves to be a thorn and an embarrassment to the philippine military. for two decades, he has led successful campaigns against government forces including the capture of a general and his assistant in 1999. they vowed to neutralize him by end of last year and failed. small wonder that the military are starting to lose their cool. in their desperation, they seem to be willing to do whatever it takes to kill or capture the elusive commander.

rebelyn’s mother doesn’t hesitate to blame the murder of her daughter to the military intelligence group. “if they are angry because they can’t get my husband,” she said in an interview with mindanews, “they should go up the mountains and look for my husband there.”

if government forces were indeed responsible for rebelyn’s murder, it could be assumed that it was done in the hope that it would transform the commander into an avenging angel and force him out of his hiding place and meet the full force of the military head on.

major general raymundo ferrer, a regional military commander of the army, however, denied its soldiers were involved in the kidnapping and killing. he reiterated that it is not the policy of the military to involve the family or children of the rebels into the fight.

if it’s not the elements in the military, then who would have the capacity and motivation to kidnap and murder a young woman whose only “crime” was being the daughter of a rebel leader? human rights watch reported last year that the number of extra-judicial killings in the philippines have increased significantly after president gloria arroyo declared an “all-out war” against the new people’s army in 2006.

president gloria arroyo has ordered a probe into the killing so that the murderers can be punished. judging from the results of previous investigations of this nature, however, nothing much can be expected from an administration perceived to be the most corrupt in philippine history.

rebelyn was a rebel’s daughter. her father made sure of that. didn’t he name her “rebelyn” after all? she might have been her father’s daughter, but she didn’t follow in his footsteps. rightly or wrongly, though, this conflation of being a rebel’s daughter and being a rebel herself could have led to her untimely death.

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Entry filed under: commentary, filipino, philippines, politics. Tags: , , , , , , , .

A Fair-Weather Friend Dentistry Made Uneasy

19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. fortuitous faery  |  March 8, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    i know i just wrote about a death as well, but reading about violent deaths like this one takes a lot more to absorb.

    may justice be served in her favor.

    Reply
  • 2. plaridel  |  March 8, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    fortuitous faery:

    she was a model citizen but still she was killed. what a shame.

    Reply
  • […] killed Rebelyn, Gagelonia further asks? Many, like Musings of a Random Mind, attribute the abduction and slaying to the military. if it’s not the elements in the military, […]

    Reply
  • […] killed Rebelyn, Gagelonia further asks? Many, like Musings of a Random Mind, attribute the abduction and slaying to the military. if it’s not the elements in the military, […]

    Reply
  • […] s’interroge par ailleurs Gagelonia ? De nombreuses personnes, comme l’auteur du blog Musings of a Random Mind [en anglais], attribuent l’enlèvement et le meurtre à l’armée. “Si ce ne sont […]

    Reply
  • 6. Rob Layton  |  March 17, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    That’s a very volatile situation, especially when family members are getting victimized.

    This is a very well-written article, by the way.

    Reply
  • 7. plaridel  |  March 18, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    rob:

    thanks. i’m really surprised at the number of interests this post generated around the world, especially in the middle east.

    Reply
  • 8. jeniffer  |  March 20, 2009 at 5:39 am

    whatta lost for the family of rebelyn, a justice must have for her..

    Reply
  • 9. plaridel  |  March 20, 2009 at 7:43 am

    jeniffer:

    justice grinds so slowly in the philippines. we may not live to see that day.

    Reply
  • 10. RaiulBaztepo  |  March 29, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

    Reply
  • […] killed Rebelyn, Gagelonia further asks? Many, like Musings of a Random Mind, attribute the abduction and slaying to the military. if it’s not the elements in the military, […]

    Reply
  • […] killed Rebelyn, Gagelonia further asks? Many, like Musings of a Random Mind, attribute the abduction and slaying to the military. if it’s not the elements in the military, […]

    Reply
  • 13. PiterKokoniz  |  April 7, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Hello ! 🙂
    I am Piter Kokoniz. oOnly want to tell, that your blog is really cool
    And want to ask you: will you continue to post in this blog in future?
    Sorry for my bad english:)
    Thank you:)
    Your Piter

    Reply
  • […] killed Rebelyn, Gagelonia further asks? Many, like Musings of a Random Mind, attribute the abduction and slaying to the military. if it’s not the elements in the military, […]

    Reply
  • 15. plaridel  |  April 9, 2009 at 11:21 am

    raiul:

    thanks for the visit. please come back again.

    Reply
  • 16. plaridel  |  April 9, 2009 at 11:24 am

    piter:

    thanks for the visit. i’ll continue to post until the well runs dry.

    Reply
  • […] killed Rebelyn, Gagelonia further asks? Many, like Musings of a Random Mind, attribute the abduction and slaying to the military. if it’s not the elements in the military, […]

    Reply
  • 18. Mealaygex  |  December 11, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    I highly enjoyed reading your article, keep on writing such interesting stuff!!

    Reply
    • 19. plaridel  |  December 12, 2009 at 1:22 pm

      mealaygex:

      hey, thanks… please visit again.

      Reply

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