By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet—Innabuyog-Gabriela condemns the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for dismissing the rape case filed against Captain Danilo Lalin of the 86th Infantry Batallion of the Philippine Army as a mere smear campaign against the AFP as they continue to call for the perpetrator to come out and seek justice for the victim.
Earlier reports showed that Lalin was accused of raping two Mankayan minors after courting them and bringing them to the 86th IB detatchment in Tinoc, Ifugao.
“No one wants to make up this kind of a serious accusation. No one wants to use an innocent young lady who has suffered such heinous crime just to speak ill of the AFP. This is a real case. If only we could see the current state of this young girl…,” Innabuyog-Gabriela Secretary General Mila Singson reiterated.
She pointed out that Isabel’s case is a strong evidence of how militarization threatens the women and children in the Cordillera communities.
At the moment, Innabuyog-Gabriela together with the family and friends of Isabel and some Local Government Unit of the municipality of Mankayan and the whole barangay council of Colalo are continuously campaigning for the immediate arrest of Lalin while the case is still in progress and the victim is under recovery.
Dr. Jovy Ann Tangalin of the Baguio General Hospital, Isabel’s attending psychiatrist testified that Isabel is suffering from acute severe depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She added that aside from the sudden changes in her mood swings and hyper arousal nightmares, the biggest manifestation of PTSD in Isabel is her selective amnesia.
According to Tangalin, Isabel’s defense mechanism against the terrible incident that had happened to her is forcing herself not to recall the particular events that lead to her rape.
She said the victim’s recovery will depend on how the victim copes with the tragedy. Moreover, the doctor said she is doing her best to help Isabel recover fast.
Singson challenged Lalin to be man enough and face the rape charges filed against him squarely. She added that it is not enough that Lalin be demoted and be restrained in the military barracks.
“This is not justice. Demoting Lalin is not justice for Isabel. Lalin has to come out, and also, stop sending his family to try to make amends with Isabel’s family. He needs to undergo the due process,” she stressed.
Isabel’s mother admitted that Lalin’s family is trying to settle the case with them amicably. She said the perpetrator’s family is suggesting that Lalin marry the young girl. Lalin’s family also gave P2,000 to her .
“Money is just money. No (amount of) money can ever undo the damage that Lalin has done to my granddaughter. Money cannot replace my granddaughter’s future,” Isabel’s grandmother declared.
Furthermore, Innabuyog Gabriela is calling for the AFP in Mankayan to stop harassing the community folk particularly in Barangay Cabiten. The group said government troopers are going around telling the residents that the case is just a smear campaign of progressive organizations against the AFP. They added that Lalin is continuously meeting and using “Katrina” the other victim deceiving her to disregard the case.
Isabel’s case is pending in court while she undergoes medication and gains enough strength to be able to stand in court and win her justice.
The people of Mankayan together with several of their officials and Innabuyog-Gabriela continuous to call for the demilitarization of Mankayan. The Colalo Barangay Council and the Save Mankayan Movement is currently conducting a signature campaign to surface Lalin and answer to his case. The petition also calls to pull out military troops in Mankayan. # nordis.net