A female graduate of the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu named Myles Albasin y Cantal was among the six alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) on Saturday, March 3, shortly after they encountered the government forces. A few hours later, militant group Anakbayan reacted, and admitted that Albasin was their member.
According to Lt. Col. Darrel Banes, 62nd Infantry Battalion commanding officer, he received a report that some 20 NPA rebels were at Sitio Tumonon, Barangay Luyang, Mabinay, Negros Oriental on Saturday, and ordered his men to check the place. Allegedly, the soldiers were met with gunfire so they decided to fight back.
Myles Albasin, 21, is a Mass Communication graduate of UP Cebu The other five suspected NPA rebels who were arrested are – Jomar Indico y Garlet (29 yrs old), Joey Vailoces y Amaro (18 yrs. old), Bernardo Guillen Jr y Embalsardo aka Tigas (17 yrs. old), Randel Hermino y Balasabas (19 yrs old), and Carlo Ybañez y Villamor (17 yrs old).
Recovered from the suspects are six high powered firearms, four M16 assault rifles with ab M203 grenade launcher, and two M4 assault rifles, along with an improvised landmine, grenade rifle high explosives with fuse, various types of ammunition, personal belongings, medicines, medical kits and subversive documents with high intel value.
In a statement, UP Cebu’s chancellor, Liza Corro confirmed that Myles Albasin graduated from the university last June 2017. “Albasin is an alumna who graduated last June. We have no information about her current involvements. But I believe she is entitled to due process and is considered innocent until proven otherwise,” she said.
Meanwhile, Akbayan Cebu Chapter clarified that Albasin is a student leader and a former chairperson of Anakbayan UP Cebu. The militant group added that the UP graduate is also active in advancing the plight and struggle of the farmers, fisherfolks, and indigenous people, especially the Lumads, noting that they fear for her life.
“The arrest of Albasin is alarming since the reactionary military forces have a track record of violent and inhumane treatments of their captives especially women. On 2014, Recca Monte, a UP Diliman student, was captured and was later found dead with injuries on the head, face, and chest.” Akbayan Cebu said further.
“Now, the military has a move not to disclose the name of Albasin on media reports for “security reasons.” We fear for her and her companions’ safety as the military might closely have suspicious intentions behind this. We no longer blame the decision of thousands of Filipino youth to take the road of revolution.” The militant group added.
“The worsening situation in a semi-feudal and semi-colonial Philippine society, intensified by the anti-poor and anti-people programs and policies of the US-Duterte regime, push the Filipino youth to take a decisive stand and action to be at the forefront in changing this system.” Akbayan Cebu noted, urging President Duterte to resume peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).