By Nanette Guadalquiver
BACOLOD CITY — Birth control pills were among the personal items recovered by Philippine Army troops inside the lair of New People’s Army (NPA) in a remote village of Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental over the weekend.
Photos of three stubs of oral contraceptive tablets were released by the 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde) on Saturday afternoon, a day after soldiers of 94th Infantry Battalion engaged communist-terrorists in a firefight in Barangay Buenavista and found their hideout in the area.
Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of 303IBde, said in a statement on Sunday that the recovery of birth control pills is an indication of sexual abuse suffered by female NPA members and recruits.
“It clearly manifests the ongoing and rampant sexual abuses among their ranks especially by NPA commanders against their female members,” he added.
Pasaporte reiterated his call on the female NPA combatants to abandon the armed struggle and go home to their respective families.
“Don’t let the NPA leaders take advantage of you. They are just making you their sex slaves,” he added.
Pasaporte said that once they leave the rebel movement, the government will assist them through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), which provides financial and livelihood assistance, and firearms remuneration, among others.
On April 23, troops of 20IB also found boxes of birth control pills inside an NPA hideout in an upland village of Catubig, Northern Samar.
Also on October 22 last year, soldiers of 88IB recovered some contraceptive pills, condoms, and pornographic materials from another NPA hideout in the forested area of Barangay Kibongkog, San Fernando, Bukidnon.
Earlier this month, two pregnant NPA medics surrendered to the 23IB in Buenavista town, Agusan del Norte.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)