The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has filed four criminal cases before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Jose Maria Sison and three other leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
According to a statement issued on Tuesday, CIDG chief Maj. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, together with former CPP-NPA-NDF members and other groups, appeared before the DOJ to submit charges against Sison, Redsa Balatan, Rey dela Pena alias “Reynaldo Santos,” and Joel Caliwliw.
Former rebel Lady Desiree Miranda alias “Ka Shane” and her two witnesses, Florida Versola Sibayan alias “Ka Pong” and Francisco Cortez Baesa Jr. alias “Buboy,” joined investigators from the Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Unit (AFCCU) and Women and Children Complaint Unit (WCCU), as well as other members of CIDG Task Force Makabayan, in filing cases.
For recruiting Miranda, Balatan allegedly violated Republic Act 9208, or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, and Republic Act 7610, or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act, while Pena and Caliwliw face two and four counts of rape, respectively.
Miranda said in her lawsuit that she was recruited by Balatan at the age of 14 as a member of Anakbayan, a CPP-NPA-NDF front organization engaging in above-ground activities.
Miranda took radicalization classes and worked as an NPA urban operator before joining communist terrorism (Red Area Operation) at the CARABALLO Guerrilla Front, which covered Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, and Pangasinan.
At the age of 18, she became a full-fledged member of the NPA.
“Miranda was an example of a trafficked child who completed the cycle of the act of recruitment, deception, and exploitative purpose to engage a child in armed activities by the CTG,” Ferro said.
Miranda was raped by her commander dela Pena sometime in 2016, sexually abused by her vice squad leader Alvin Soria alias “Ka Bunso” in 2017, and sexually assaulted by Caliwliw in 2018.
Miranda was horrified when she tried to draw the attention of CPP-NPA-NDF leadership, because instead of getting the justice she deserved, CTG authorities humiliated and maligned her as a “sex addict” with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and she was labeled as mentally disturbed.
Miranda left the group and surrendered to the government through her family after failing to get the CTG’s promise of medical aid.
Sison is currently in the Netherlands, while Balatan, dela Pena, and Caliwliw are respectively being held at the Nueva Ecija provincial jail in Caalibangbangan, Cabanatuan City; the Bambang Police Station in Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya; and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) provincial jail in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya.
“The CIDG, as mandated by law, has the duty to serve and protect the country and its citizenry without prejudice or bias,” Ferro said.
Miranda’s justice, according to Ferro, is “now in the hands of the DOJ” based on the witnesses and evidence she and the CIDG brought to the DOJ.
“Hindi po natin isinasantabi ang pagtulong sa sinumang biktima ng krimen kabilang rito ang ating mga kababayang nagbalik-loob sa gobyerno upang mabigyang hustisya ang pananamantalang kanilang sinapit sa kamay ng grupong minsan nilang inaniban,” Ferro said.
The United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines have designated the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group.
On June 23, 2021, the Anti-Terrorism Council formally recognized the NDF as a terrorist group, characterizing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA founded in April 1973.