The Arnulfo Ortiz Command of the New People’s Army-Western Samar claims today the attempt to mete the death penalty on rabid counter-revolutionary and serial rapist ex-Mayor Ananias Rebato on October 8 at past midnight in Brgy. Babaclayon, San Jose de Buan. The former mayor of the said town was attending the barangay fiesta and surrounded by his six armed goons and five CAFGU elements. He was walking towards the highway when approached by a team of the NPA special operations group that directed four gunshots at him. His close-in henchman, Tuko Tesoro, also sustained gunshots and died on the spot.
The death penalty issued by the people’s court went through the process of filing the case, thorough investigation, verification of presented evidence and deliberation of the justices before arriving at a unanimous decision. The people’s court has repeatedly summoned the former mayor to answer the charges and attend the hearing of his case, only to be shunned and instead he requested the military to conduct military operations aimed at harassing and silencing the complainants. The former mayor was found guilty of the following charges:
1. Thirty-one counts of rape and multiple sexual harassment perpetrated on women “scholars,” most of them minors and daughters of peasants from hinterland barrios. By taking advantage of his authority as mayor that enabled him to grant scholarships to poor students, former Mayor Rebato kept a steady supply of young women he can rape and molest. These vulnerable young women, when impregnated are later coerced, including their families, and forcibly sent to Manila for abortion. Out of the hundreds he victimized, only thirty-one testified and gave sworn statements, the rest requesting to keep their silence due to the constant fear of retaliation.
2. Involvement in counter-revolutionary activities such as maintaining a platoon of goons aimed at harassing suspected NPA members and sympathizers. He masterminded the abduction and disappearance of a peasant from Brgy. San Nicolas whom he suspected of being an NPA sympathizer.
3. Ex-Mayor Rebato was no ordinary mayor during his long term in service. Not only was he a proud sponsor of brutal militarization in the hinterland barangays of San Jose de Buan, giving away bribes and financing CAFGU and regular military elements, thus securing his reign as mayor, but he also holds the rank of first lieutenant under the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or ISAFP. Thus he spearheaded the building of a vast intelligence network for counter-revolutionary activities targeting peasants. He openly campaigned for the surrender of peasants to be later paraded as “NPA surrenderees,” while constantly terrorizing peasant leaders when they go to the town to deliver their farm produce.
4. Massive corruption of public funds, pocketing millions’ worth of infrastructure projects such as the National Greening Program and other livelihood programs. It is no secret in town how the ex-mayor picked his family and political supporters to maintain his administrative office and staff up to job-order employees. From the municipal government down to barangay councils manned by his lackeys, the ex-mayor institutionalized massive corruption, political patronage and briberies that further worsened the plight of San Jose de Buan as one of the poorest towns in the Philippines.
While the ex-mayor survived the attempt to serve capital punishment, the revolutionary movement and the NPA will continue to seek justice long awaited by the women he raped, the peasants he ordered to be killed and his decades-long corruption and abuse of authority while serving as the town’s mayor. This also serves as a warning to him and his henchmen who might retaliate against innocent civilians.
The NPA also condemns the arrest of a young peasant from Brgy. San Nicolas whom the military tagged as an NPA member involved in the recent military action. The arrested youth recently held by the military is a civilian and just happened to be at the vicinity attending the fiesta. The NPA demands that the military unconditionally and immediately release him and respect his civil and political rights.
In the course of the military action, an NPA cadre, Comrade Ambie Gabane, also known as “Ka Mati/Ka Mamoy,” sacrificed his life for the revolutionary cause. His martyrdom is heavier than Mt. Huraw and his youth and life selflessly offered to serve the people will inspire millions of youth and peasants to advance the revolution.#