National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said Jevilyn Campos Cullamat, the slain daughter of Bayan Muna lawmaker Eufemia Cullamat was not a martyr.
Esperon extended condolences to the Cullamat family for losing Jevilyn for a “forsaken cause.” However, Esperon slammed people who “have the gall to politicize and romanticize the death of this young woman by calling her a martyr.”
“Jevilyn was not a martyr. She was deceived into sacrificing her life for a cause lacking legitimacy and noble purpose,” Esperon, vice chairman of the NTF-ELCAC, said.
“She was a victim of a manipulative organization that has taken advantage of her from the moment she was radicalized until her recruitment into the armed struggle,” he added.
Reports said Jevilyn served as NPA’s medic and allegedly belonged to the Communist NPA Terrorist’s Sandatahang Yuniy Pampropaganda Platoon of the Guerilla Front 19, Northeastern Regional Committee (NEMRC).
Representative Cullamat said her daughter is a hero of the Lumad and the Philippines. She said Jevilyn has fought against the “abuses” of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against the lumads and other ethnolinguistic groups.
Esperon: Jevilyn Cullamat is not a martyr
However, Esperon disagrees and said the young Cullamat was “radicalized into believing that the government has neglected its duty to her people and the Indigenous Peoples’ community.”
“No loving family, no doting aunt or uncle in the right mind would simply consent to, and be proud of, the recruitment of their children into armed conflict,” he added.
The official added no loving parent would romanticize the victimization of their child. “More importantly, no elected official paid for by the Republic, should proudly declare their support for an armed rebellion that violates international laws on the recruitment of child combatants, indigenous people’s rights, violence against women, and the disregard for human life.”
“It pains me that even in her daughter’s death, Representative Cullamat cannot show remorse and has gone so far as extolling the false advocacy and political agenda of the armed revolution,” he said.
Esperon hopes that with Jevilyn’s death, the Indigenous Peoples‘ community would be awakened about the lies and “skewed” principles allegedly being propagated by communist rebels.