The Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to conduct a preliminary investigation on the criminal complaint filed against Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison and three suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) for allegedly recruiting a teen-aged girl as a rebel fighter.
Two of the three suspected NPA members charged with Sison were also accused of sexually abusing the teen-aged girl.
The DOJ’s Office of the Prosecutor General (OPG) confirmed on Wednesday, Aug. 25, that it received the complaint that was filed last Monday, Aug. 23, by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detention Group (PNP-CIDG).
The OPG said that case has “already been forwarded to SASP (Senior Assistant State Prosecutor) Lilian Doris Alejo, chairperson of the Anti-Trafficking Persons Task Force, for perusal and eventual assignment to a prosecutor or a panel of prosecutors for the conduct of preliminary investigation.”
It said that the complaint was filed before the PNP-CIDG by “a rebel returnee and former cadre of the CPP-NPA-NDF (CPP-NPA-National Democratic Front) who went by the aliases ‘Lady Miranda,’ ‘Ka Gab,’ ‘Ka Sheena,’ among others….”
Aside from Sison, named in the complaint were suspected NPA members Redsa Balatan, Rey Dela Pena and Joel Caliwliw.
“Lady Miranda” accused Sison and Balatan of having violated Section 4(i) of Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 “for recruiting a child to engage in armed activities.”
Sison and Balatan were also charged with violation of Section 10(a) of Republic Act No. 7610, the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, “for other acts of child abuse, cruelty or exploitation.”
Dela Pena and Caliwliw, on the other hand, were also charged with two counts and four counts, respectively, of rape in violation of Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
The reported rape incidents “allegedly happened in March 2011 (Angeles, Pampanga), April 2016 (Nueva Vizcaya), June 2016 (Nueva Ecija), March 2018 (Nueva Ecija), and April 2018 (Pangasinan).”
PNP-CIDG director Maj. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro earlier revealed that “Lady Miranda” got “recruited at the age of 14 as a member of Anakbayan, a CTG (Communist Terrorist Group) front organization ….”
“She had received Radicalization Courses from Radicalization Centers,” said Ferro, quoting from the affidavit of the alleged victim.
“She then became a CTG Urban Operator, then eventually joined the Communist Terrorism (Red Area Operation) at the CARABALLO Guerrilla Front covering the areas of Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya and Pangasinan,” he said.
Sison is at The Netherlands, while Balatan, Dela Pena, and Caliwliw are detained, respectively, at the Nueva Ecija Provincial Jail, Caalibangbangan, Cabanatuan City; Bambang Police Station, Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya; and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Provincial Jail, Solano, Nueva Vizcaya.