Lorenzana fires back at Gabriela Party-list for accusing soldiers of threatening rape to Marawi women

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana strikes at some leftist groups that claimed soldiers threatened to rape women war survivors of Marawi City.

Lorenzana released a statement questioning the motives and credibility of certain leftist groups who are spreading doubtful news about the military who have been fighting and risking their lives since day one of the rebellion.

"I question the motives and credibility of certain leftist groups and individuals in coming up with a dubious report that Marawi women residents allegedly fear that they will be raped by soldiers in the ongoing military operations in Marawi City," Lorenzana said in a statement.

Defense Secretary dared the organizations to identify the souce of their accusations, show evidences and file a complaint.

"I challenge the organizations where the information originated to prespresent their evidence and lodge a complaint before the proper authorities if they can, and not just throw away accusations like they are reading lines from their sae old propaganda for almost five decades now which the Filipino people have grown tired of hearing," he said.

However, Gabriela representative did not mention the origin of their allegations in a statement released on Friday.

"I have personally heard the stories of women who sought refuge in evacuation centers in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur after government troops threatened to rape them, as encouraged by no less than President Duterte in his public remarks," Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas said.

"These are alarming accounts which prove that the martial law and President’s rape remarks have actually emboldened the military to dangle rape threats before women in Marawi City. We fear that there are actual victims of rape and we encourage them to speak out and seek justice," she added.

Lorenzana said the soldiers in war-stricken city have undergone a series of gender sensitivity trainings focused on participation, empowerment, equity, respect for human rights, freedom from violence, and actualization of fullest human potential.

"Linawin ko lang po: Ang ating kasundaluhan at kapulisan ay nasa Marawi upang labanan ang mga teroristang gustong gawing pugad ng kasamaan ang siyudad,at upang pigilan na lumawak pa ang kaguluhan. Ito ang kanilang sinumpaang tungkulin," he added.

Despite the danger that the government soldiers are facing, the Defense secretary, he can only think of one reason why these groups are plotting such accusations and that is sabotage, "for the government to fail in the fight against evil in order to advance whatever selfish reasons they have."

"Hindi po ba ang mga grupong ito ang mga grupong patuloy na nagbubulag-bulagan sa mga krimeng ginagawa ng mga kabaro nila sa CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army)? The same groups who conveniently forget that their communist-terrorists colleagues continue to loot, murder, rape, and destroy private and public properties in the countryside," Lorezana stated.

"Alam ng taumbayan na makapapagkatiwalaan nila ang ating Sandatahang Lakas, ang kaisa-isang Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas, at nakikita naman ito sa mga survey. Kung labag sa ideyolohiya ng mga grupong ito ang sumuporta sa mga sundalo, sana ay makunsensiya naman sila para sa ating mga kapatid na Maranao – mga kababaihan, kabataan, katutubo at buong komunidad sa biktima sa sitwasyon," he added.

Recently, Lorenzana ordered the arrest of 125 members of the ISIS-Maute group.

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) spokesperson Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin stated that the Defense secretary ordered the arrest on May 31 for the crime of rebellion.

Lavin also stated that out of 125 Maute members, 95 of them are identified while the remaining 30 have aliases.

"Kung ikaw ay aalis ng Mindanao at nagkasala ka na ng crime of rebellion, kahit saang parte ng bansa pwede ka arestuhin," Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said in a news conference.

"Dapat po natin aalahanin na ang crime of rebellion is a continuing offense na kahit nasaan ka, pwede kang arestuhin," he said.

Lorenzana stated that the 125 members are identified as members, supporters and/or spies of the Maute-ISIS group.

Source: GMA