PHILIPPINES - Reactionaries abuse martyrs bodies as "trophies"

This article was published on the website a nova democracia

The Philippine reactionary army is accused of war crime after soldiers display a photo of murdered guerrilla as 'trophies'. The reactionary Philippine Army is being accused by international human rights organizations of committing a war crime after a photo of soldiers showing the body of a New People's Army (NEP) doctor murdered by the military was published on social networks.

The body of Jevilyn Campos Cullamat was exposed by the military after she was killed in an alleged shooting in the village of Surigao do Sul, a province in the south of Mindanao island, on November 28.

The military tried to plant weapons near the girl's body to make her look like a guerrilla. According to an "independent" congressman, Edcel Lagman "The propaganda photo with Jevilyn Cullamat, 22, killed holding a planted firearm, speaks more than a thousand words about terrorism and the depravity of state agents."

Phil Robertson, deputy director for Asia of the non-governmental organization (NGO) Human Rights Watch (HRW), which works in defense of human rights, said: "To outrage personal dignity is a war crime under the Rome Statute, since it applies to people killed under the 'Elements of Crimes' of the International Criminal Court." He added, "Of course, photos of the body are a cruel and unnecessary affront to the dignity of that individual and violate the laws of war".

The young woman's mother revolted by the fact and condemned the military's barbaric action. "She is not a thing, she is not a trophy to be displayed in military propaganda. You have not respected the dead, you are also disrespecting the pain of our family," said the angry mother.

The photo "viralized" after the Philippine state news agency released the photos of the military operation. In one of the images the soldiers of the elite forces pose alongside flags of the Communist Party of the Philippines (PCF), the NEP, weapons and Cullamat's body.

The reactionary state agency erased the photo hours later, but readers and journalists had already made copies of the macabre publication. Pages linked to the Philippine Army and supporters of the fascist president, Rodrigo Duterte, also released the photos as a form of celebration. The fascist president himself used the following phrase to explain the action "Let a woman fight against a soldier, and she will certainly die."

It is worth remembering that during his mandate Rodrigo Duterte was noted for being not only a bloodthirsty fascist, who offered rewards to those who killed members of the NEP and the PCF, but also a great misogynist who even ordered the military to shoot the vaginas of female guerrillas.

These statements express the hatred the reactionaries have, especially for the guerrilla women. Such sentiment demonstrates the secular oppression that women suffer and also reveals that nothing makes the enemies of the people angrier than a woman who decides to free herself and all her class.