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Who Killed Rebelyn Pitao?

March 10, 2009


rebelyn-wake-jpgRebelyn 20-year-old Rebelyn Pitao of Carmen Davao Del Norte was employed as a substitute elementary school teacher.

She believed in the ideal that it is by gaining a proper education and a decent job that an ordinary Filipino can one ultimately be freed from the clutches of poverty.

Rebelyn’s father Leoncio, who uses the ‘nom de guerre’ Kumander Parago,  is tagged by the military for various crimes, among them behind the 1999 kidnapping of then Brig. Gen. Victor Obillo and Capt. Eduardo Montealto along with the abduction of Jose Manero, brother of priest-killer Norberto, in Paquibato District.

The NPA leader was also believed behind the 2007 raid on the Davao Penal Colony armory in Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte and the attack on several police stations in the area.

Rebelyn went missing Wednesday last week and the next day lifeless body was found floating in a shallow creek the following day at Purok 5, Barangay San Isidro, Carmen, Davao del Norte, 30 kilometers from Davao City.

It bore marks of torture with five stab wounds on her chest, marks of strangulation on her neck and her face bludgeoned. Lacerations were also found in her genitals, indicating that a hard object was inserted.

Who would have wanted to kill a young woman in so brutal a manner?

Her father is now quoted by the Philippine Star as pinpointing her killers while the authorities are promising there will be no whitewash in their investigation with the perpetrators being brought to justice whoever they may be.

cmdr-parago-quotearmy-10-id-chief-mapagu-quoteteodoro-on-rebelynJustice is all we can really hope for in the end as the more deeply-rooted causes of the insurgencies in this country: poverty coupled with ideological conflict and social inequities remain woefully unmitigated.

Ultimately these circumstances killed Rebelyn Pitao.

Over at Ryan Tani, our newest latest contributor has provided a link to a most informative 96-page UN Report on Social Vulnerability in the World.

Quite succinctly, a part jumps out:

“60. Increasingly, fighting parties sustain themselves by taking control of natural resources and civilian assets. That new economy of war has led to a proliferation of armed groups organized with weak command-and-control lines. As a result, untrained combatants have waged most of the recent wars in disregard (and probably ignorance) of the Geneva Conventions that include provisions for the protection of civilians. Civilians have been used as tools of battle in various ways, including the expulsion or massacre of populations and the rape of women, in order to gain urbanization, has not only put traditional social protection mechanisms (including formal social security, social welfare services and informal family support systems) under pressure, but has further eroded the ability of individuals, households, groups and communities to cope with hardship, thereby increasing their vulnerability.”

Rebelyn Pitao was one such casualty, indeed.

Note: You may notice that a photo of Rebel has surfaced. We are indebted to her nameless friends who have used Frienster to show the worl Rebelyn as she was in life: full of hope.

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