Young NPA rebel’s pa says daughter voluntarily surrendered

MANILA -- Amid reports being spread by progressive organizations that activist-turned-New People's Army rebel Alexa Pacalda was missing and held against her will by security forces, her father said she is now with them at home after her surrender.

In a taped interview provided by the 201st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, Alexa's father, Arnulfo, said her daughter voluntarily surrendered to authorities.

Kusang loob (siyang sumuko). Sa nakikita ko, hindi naman siya tinakot ng sundalo (Her surrender was voluntary. From what I see, she was not threatened by the soldiers), he said.

Arnulfo was at the police station during Alexa's confession, as stated in a police report dated September 15, at about 8:45 p.m.

In her sworn affidavit, Alexa acknowledged being an active member of (the) Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army (CPP-NPA) and holding the position of Political Officer under the squad led by 'Cyrus'.

As time went on, I, however, realized the futility of our struggle and decided to leave the organization but could not find the right opportunity to do so, she was quoted in a signed document.

She surrendered to the 85th Infantry Battalion, along with a Smith and Wesson revolver, six live ammunition, and other war materiel.

For my actions, I will be branded as a traitor by the communist movement and be targetted for liquidation by my former comrades, she added.

Alexa is seeking safety with the authorities for the imminent threat to her life.

In the interview, her father said she thought Alexa was staying out late for school activities.

Isip namin, nag-aaral, hanggang gabi. Nalaman po namin na nag aktibista pa siya muna, hanggang sa nakarating sa amin na anjan (NPA) na po sya. Masakit po yun bilang magulang. Gusto ko siya na mapabuti (We thought she was studying till late at night. We just learned that she was in the NPA, but prior to joining the group, she was an activist. It felt bad as a parent because I really wanted my child to have a good life), he added.

Alexa's and Arnulfo's statements are contrary to what is being spread online by leftist organizations that the rebel, whom they call a "human rights activist", is missing.

The younger Pacalda surrendered to authorities in General Luna town, Quezon on September 15.

Lt. Col. Arnold L. Gasalatan, commanding officer of the Army's 85th Infantry Brigade (85IB), said Pacalda was a member of the Platoon Sol, Sub-Regional Military Area (SRMA) 4B, Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee.

Pacalda was reportedly a student of Enverga University in Lucena City, Quezon where she was an active member of the Gabriela Youth and the College Editor's Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) before joining the NPA.

Source: Philippines News Agency