SORSOGON CITY, 27Sept2013 (BicolToday.com) – The rebel command in this province claimed Loradel Esquilon, the amazon who surrendered and was presented by Army officials before the media on September 19, is no longer a member of the rebel group since 2009, and was already working as library clerk at the Local Government of Irosin, from 2009 until 2013.
In a statement, the NPA Celso Minguez Command (CMC) said Loradel left the movement for failing to keep up with the discipline imposed by their group, and was having “an (allegedly) illicit affair with her partner, also a NPA member, when both of them have their respective families.”
“It is not true that she was recruited as a minor, when she already has a 4-year old son during the time she joined the movement,” said Samuel Guerrero, CMC spokesman, in response to the claims by Loradel during the media conference handled by the Army.
The underground group, led by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), is committed to a Geneva protocol against the use of minors for combat and the recruitment of boy soldiers.
During the Army-sponsored surrender ceremony for Esquilon on Thursday, a number of media practitioners and journalists were dismayed the alleged ranking female rebel is already non-active in the rebel movement since 2009.
The Army statement released by Capt. Arthur L. Eamiguel said Esquilon, also known as Ka Sisa/Ka Megan, left the movement in 2009, had decided to formally come out in mainstream society only this year after she was convinced of the good programs of the government for NPA surrenderees.
The Army also said that Esquilon was the logistics and finance staff (S4) of Komiteng Probinsyal (KOMPROB) Sorsogon, who voluntary surrendered to the elements of 31st Infantry Battalion in Juban, Sorsogon earlier this month.
During the ceremony, Esquilon revealed that upon joining the movement, she underwent several trainings and teach-ins (aralin) and eventually became a trusted follower of their leader, Andres Hubilla also known as Ka Magno, Secretary KOMPROB, Sorsogon.
She was later entrusted with the vital designation as Finance and Logistics Officer of the Central Committee covering the province of Sorsogon.
However, the NPA command denied that Esquilon was deeply involved in its organization and was “never a member of any party committee.”
NPA spokesman Guerrero denied Esquilon’s accusations of extortion by the NPA as “army black propaganda and lies.” [BicolToday.com]