The Rachelle Mae Palang Command (RMPC-NPA) strongly denounces and condemns Lt. Col. Michael Aquino, commander of the 11th Infantry Battalion, and the entire 302nd IBde, and the 705th Company of the Regional Mobile Force for Battalion-7, for the unlawful capture and detention of hors de combat Ka Aubrey and Ka Sarah, who are both pregnant, in complete violation of international humanitarian law and the Comprehensive Agreement of Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) as they are considered protected persons.
Aquino is once again, twisting the narrative for declaring that the two are surrenderees. In fact, Ka Aubrey and Ka Sarah were on medical leave due to being 9 months and 5 months pregnant respectively, when mercenary troops of the 11th IB, together with 705th RMFB-7 elements, arrested them in Sitio Katubahan, Barangay Tayak, Siaton, Negros Oriental.
The RMPC-NPA demands that the two be afforded their full rights as prisoners of war, and not be presented as trophies and bogus victories for the corrupt E-CLIP program of the NTF-Elcac. They should be freed at once, not subjected to torture and hogwash by the military while being detained in their military base.
Pregnant women and mothers, according to Protocol 1 of the Geneva Conventions, “…who are arrested, detained or interned for reasons related to the armed conflict, shall have their cases considered with the utmost priority” (Art. 76, para 2), which means that they must be released in the soonest possible time due to their conditions.
While interned, maternity cases must be given adequate treatment and provided their needs, in proportion to their physiological condition. Ka Aubrey and Ka Sarah must also be given their right to consult counsel of their own choosing and to be visited by their respective families.
Furthermore, the two supposed “surrenderees” in Barangay Milagrosa, Sta. Catalina are fake surrenderees. John Paul Acebron or “Ka Bombo” has long been disenfranchised from the movement and has turned into a military asset and guide since August. He is the primary suspect for the cause of the defensive action of the RMPC-NPA in Sitio Taleo of the same barangay where Ka Candy, Delfin’s son, was martyred.
It is high time for Aquino, the 302nd Ibde, the 11th IB, and the entire AFP and PNP to be held accountable for their dirty and heinous crimes against the people. We enjoin human rights organizations and advocates to investigate further regarding the capture of Ka Sarah and Ka Aubrey, and demand that they be rightfully released at once and not utilized as propaganda tools of the reactionary state.