STO. NIÑO, Cagayan – The remains of an LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) member of the New People’s Army (NPA) were exhumed through the joint efforts of the 17th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army (PA), police here, and Scene-of-the-Crime Operatives (SOCO) Region 2 in Sitio Lagum, Barangay Lipatan, this town, last Feb. 23.
The military identified the remains as that of “Marvin,” also known as “Ka Barney,” who is believed to be from Tondo, Manila.
A source from the 17th IB said that Barney was a member of the Danilo Ben Command, Komiteng Rehiyon-Cagayan Valley (KR-CV) of the NPA and allegedly committed suicide in 2013 by taking chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, after he was discriminated for being a member of the LGBT community.
His remains were unearthed thru information given by a former rebel. Two shotguns were discovered along with his body.
Marvin’s remains were turned over to the police here for further examination and investigation while the 5th Infantry Division is reaching out to his family for proper burial.
Marvin was reportedly physically and mentally burdened by being a part of the NPA. He tried to leave the movement but his NPA cadres did not allow him, prompting him to take his own life.
Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo B. Burgos Jr., Armed Forces Northern Luzon Command chief, slammed the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA for the inhumane and crass treatment of Marvin.
“They abandoned Ka Barney with less regard for his contributions to their group. This is how the NPA treats their members after they’ve been rendered useless,” he said. “May this be an awakening for the other rebels to return to government fold and abandon armed struggle,” he added.