AFP urged to address domestic abuse allegations among ranks

March 22, 2024 - 12:17 PM
File photo of personnel of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division are to perform anti-COVID-19 frontline missions. ( / John Unson)

A wife of an Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) officer stepped forward and reported an alleged abuse she experienced from her husband. 

Due to this, Tessa Luz Reyes-Sevilla, wife of military official Ranulfo Sevilla, called on the AFP to address domestic abuse and called for an investigation among their ranks, as she claimed that she is not the only one with such experience.

“Hindi po ako nandito para sirain ang institusyon. Gusto ko pong itama ang pagkakamali natin. Itama ang pagkakamali ng mga nasa loob ng AFP,” Reyes-Sevilla said.

Reyes-Sevilla narrated to the press what she described as lack of financial support, physical abuse and infidelity committed by her husband. 

The Commission on Appointments blocked the colonel’s supposed promotion as brigadier general following his wife’s testimony and opposition. 

Sevilla can appeal for consideration when he resolves his issues but for now, the congressional body ruled he maintains his previous rank. 

Some Filipinos online rallied behind Reyes-Sevilla.

“AFP should address these alleged abuses by military men against their wives and children. As soldiers, these men are supposed to maintain peace and order. But how can this be possible if right in their own homes they are the violators?” one X user (formerly Twitter) wrote in reply to the news.

Rep. Raoul Manuel (Kabataan Partylist) alsostood in solidarity with Reyes-Sevilla.

“I join the calls for justice by the wives and children of abusive AFP officers,” Manuel wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

“What the military, NTF-ELCAC, SMNI and Quiboloy are doing is similar to the defense mechanism called projection. Pinoprotektahan daw nila ang mga bata pero sila pala itong perpetrators or coddlers,” he continued.

Other Filipino social media users also lauded Reyes-Sevilla’s courage to speak up. 

“Hats off to this woman! Nakasanayan na kasi sa AFP ang magtakipan lalo na pag involved ay mga kabit nila na pingangalandakan pa sa mga kabaro nila,” an online user said.

In addition to accounts of abuse and infidelity, Reyes-Sevilla also spoke up about AFP condoning her husband’s actions.

“I can no longer stay silent. No amount of sorry or money will make me back down. We deserve to be vindicated,” the wife said.

“To the gentlemen of the AFP, I hope you are hearing this: look into the sad life of the wives or partners of your men in the AFP. I have lost trust in the AFP,” she added.

The colonel later admitted of having a relationship with another woman but denied the child abuse allegations.

Reyes also clarified that he already filed a petition to annul his marriage with Reyes-Sevilla  when he had an affair.

The military official said that he only did it out of loneliness following the death of his mother.