Zarate: Death of Jevilyn Cullamat does not link Makabayan bloc to NPA

party-list Representative Carlos Zarate denied Monday that the death of Jevilyn Cullamat, the daughter of Bayan Muna party-list Representative Eufemia Cullamat, is evidence of the Makabayn bloc’s link to rebels.

Defense Secretary Delfin  said earlier the red-tagging of bloc representatives now has a basis after the young Cullamat was killed in a military encounter against the New People’s Army.

“Actually dahil sa nangyari ngayon, anak pa ng congresswoman na Makabayan ‘yung namatay… ‘yung red-tagging namin ay may basis ano. May basis na sila ay sumusuporta, ‘yung Makabayan, sinusuportahan nila itong CPP- (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army) at saka ‘yung tinatawag na armed struggle ng ,” Lorenzana said in an ambush interview.

In an interview, Zarate said that he and his fellow House members are already preparing for this military’s propaganda to heighten the red-tagging and terrorist-tagging against them.

“Pinaghahandaan namin yun dahil palalabasin na naman nila, sasabihin na naman nila kahit walang basehan na ito nga ay ebidensya na kami ay prente ng underground movement,” he said.

“[This is] despite the fact na for several instances now, nagkaroon na ng mga pagdinig kahit sa Senado ay wala namang matibay na ebidensya na nailatag ang kanilang perjured and paid witnesses.”

Zarate: Death of Jevilyn Cullamat does not link Makabayan bloc to NPA

During the Senate inquiry on red-tagging last week, Zarate denied that he was a group member in the country.

“Tahasan kong sinasabi sa Komiteng ito [Sen. Panfilo Lacson] na hindi ako miyembro o opisyal ng [CPP]. Hindi ako rebelde o miyembro ng [National Democratic Front of the Philippines],” he said.

Zarate insisted that Jevilyn Cullamat’s killing only showed the government’s need to address the root cause of the armed conflict.

“Dapat isa ito sa mga maging dahilan na pag-isipan natin na i-resume ang nahintong usapang pangkapayapaan at bigyan ng solusyon yung ugat bakit ba marami pa rin sa ating mga kababayan na lumalahok sa armadong rebelyon,” he said.

“Ito yung mga kondisyon na dapat titignan natin nang maigi. Hindi itong reckless red-tagging, terrorist-tagging na ginawa ngayon,” Zarate added.

Zarate said her family already has Jevilyn Cullamat’s remains, and they are preparing to give her a rightful funeral.