The Senate extended on Tuesday its condolences to Bayan Muna Representative Eufemia Cullamat over the death of her daughter during an encounter between government troops and the New People’s Army (NPA) last week.
"On behalf of the Senate, I’d like to express our deepest condolences and sympathy to Bayan Muna Rep. Cullamat for the loss of her daughter Jevilyn,” Senate President Vicente Sotto III said as the Senate Defense Committee resumed its inquiry on the red-tagging issue on Tuesday.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family. May your beautiful memories sustain and bring comfort to you during this difficult time," Sotto said.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate Defense panel, also lamented Jevilyn's death.
"As far as we are concerned, a dead NPA rebel or a dead soldier is only as bad and tragic as a dead Filipino, for we see no difference except probably the cause that they had fought and died for," said Lacson, a former police chief.
Jevilyn was slain in a gunfight between the Philippine Army's 3rd Special Forces Battalion and NPA members in Marihatag, Surigao del Sur on Saturday, November 28.
Cullamat, in a statement after the military announced Jevilyn's death, said that she would not be surprised if her youngest daughter had joined the NPA, citing the alleged abuses and the poverty that the Lumads have experienced.
The Senate defense panel is on its third hearing on the supposed red-tagging activities of the military and defense sector against progressive groups and lawmakers.