Roxas a rebel

PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — TWO former New People’s Army rebels who recently surrendered will confirm that Melissa Roxas, a Filipino-American activist who accused soldiers of torture, was an NPA guerilla, the Armed Forces said.

AFP public information chief Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. said the two former NPA fighters will also authenticate a videotape showing Roxas at a rebel camp sometime in 2006.

Roxas, they claimed, was part of an NPA group operating in the provinces of Aurora and Quezon, Brawner told reporters.

Roxas, a member of the American chapter of the left-wing Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, returned last week and testified before a Commission on Human Rights inquiry into her alleged ordeal under the military.

She and two other activists were seized in La Paz town, Tarlac last May and were allegedly brought to Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija where the alleged torture took place.

Over the weekend, partylist Representatives Jovito Palparan from Bantay and Jun Alcobar from Anad released a videotape purportedly showing Roxas at an NPA camp.

Testifying before the House Committee on Human Rights yesterday, Roxas admitted being an activist but not a member of the NPA.

She said she may have been a victim of mistaken identity because her captors kept calling her Maita.

Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo suspects that the real target of the military could be

Maita Santiago, former Secretary General of Migrante, who is now based in Canada. He said Roxas and Santiago have the same built and features.

“For six days in captivity, my captors tried to force me to admit that I’m a member of the NPA, accused me of being a member of the NPA and told me that it was “people like me” who are making it difficult for the government,” she told congressmen.