A UP Manila student was among the 14 suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels killed during Tuesday night's encounter with the military in Nasugbu, Batangas, GMA News' Ivan Mayrina reported on 24 Oras on Thursday.
Josephine Anne Lapira, 22, was also an official of the left-learning Gabriela Women's Party, the report said, citing the military.
Lapira reportedly told her parents that she was going on an "immersion," which the military said was part of the recruitment process of the NPA.
"Pinakamadaling source ng recruitment ay ang mga left-leaning groups," Major General Rhoderick Parayno, commander of the Army's 2nd Infantry Division, said.
"Ang gagawin nila, 'pag meron silang prospective member na ginawa nang miyembro ng mga ganitong grupo ay isinasama ito sa iba't ibang rally, at 'pag nakita nila na buo ang loob ng kanilang recruit, itataas nang itataas ang level ng kanilang participation at ito ay magku-culminate sa tinatawag na immersion o sa tinatawag nilang tour of duty."
Parayno added, "Itong tour of duty, ito na 'yung dadalhin sila sa larangan kasama ng mga armadong grupo."
Gabriela party-list Emi de Jesus denied that Lapira was an official of the group but only a member. She also said Lapira's membership in Gabriela did not make her an NPA member.
“Pag aktibista ka, ia-associate ka talaga nila sa mga NPA. Malinaw naman na 'yung mga organisasyon naman namin ay may background," De Jesus said.
The military maintained that all 14 individuals killed in the encounter that took place in Barangay Kaylaway were rebels based on the weapons retrieved from them.
“Lahat sila ay, base sa mga nakuha namin na mga gamit, paraphernalia, mga bags nila, ay nagpapatunay na sila ay full-time members ng New People's Army," Parayno said.
Parayno added that the rebels, based on the high-powered firearms found in their possession, seemed to be planning an attack.
Lapira's family has declined to comment on the military's claim. —Margaret Claire Layug/KBK, GMA News