Promotion of army general halted by ‘abused’ estranged wife

MANILA. Brigadier General Ranulfo Sevilla.
MANILA. Brigadier General Ranulfo Sevilla.Photo from Dipolog City Government Facebook page

THE promotion of a Philippine Army official was halted on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, due to the opposition of his wife over claims of “abuse.”

The Commission on Appointments (CA) for national defense committee has deferred the ad interim appointment of Brigadier General Ranulfo Sevilla, currently the deputy commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)-Special Operations Command based in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, after his wife, Tessa Luz Reyes-Sevilla, testified against his confirmation.

In an interview with reporters, Reyes-Sevilla, together with her 12-year-old daughter, said that her husband does not deserve to be promoted, as she narrated the abuses she, as well as their children, experienced from his hands, particularly the lack of financial support and infidelity.

Sevilla has four children currently under the care of his wife but two of them have different mothers.

Reyes-Sevilla said they are only receiving P2,000 monthly allowance from the army general.

She said they are currently in hiding as the official was harassing them.

“‘Wag n’yo pong ipromote yang taong yan (Don’t promote that man), he doesn’t deserve it. Hindi ko na po alam kung saan na po ako lalapit (I don’t know where to seek help),” said Reyes-Sevilla.

“Nagtiis na po kami ng matagal ang masakit doon nilulunok na namin ‘yung walang sustento, kulang na sustento, nakukuha pang mambabae… ganon ba ang kapitagpitagang gentleman na naggraduate sa isang prestihoyosong academy? Yan ba ang pinagmamalaki ng AFP na hinahayaan nila na nakatira ang kabet sa loob ng kampo, sa loob ng sarili naming bahay? Yan ba na pinapakita nila na masaya at marangya ang buhay nila ng kabit niya habang kami ng mga anak ko halos manikluhod at magmakaawa para lang bigyan nya ng sustento,” she added.

(We have endured for a long time the pain that we have been swallowing, not being given financial support, and he still manages to find other women… Is that how a respectable gentleman who graduated from a prestigious academy acts? Is that what the AFP is proud of, someone who has a mistress who lives inside the camp, inside our own house? They’re showing that his life with his mistress is happy and luxurious while my children and I almost kneel down and beg just to ask for financial support.)

Reyes-Sevilla said she filed for a protection order after her husband physically abused her while she was pregnant.

She said no amount of sorry or money can make them back down from breaking their silence, which they held on for many years.

She said they tried seeking the assistance of the AFP, as well as the Philippine Army but they were told that they cannot help them.

The CA asked the Sevilla couple to face the panel in an executive session.

The army general, however, refused to give comments to the media, saying there is a gag order from the court in relation to their annulment case.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said the two parties should come to an agreement, particularly for the provision of financial support to the children, including their education and daily needs.

“I think the plan is to defer first the appointment until such time the [committee] can see the document that will be sent to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Of course, a clearly signed and notarized affidavit, indicating [Sevilla’s] commitment to provide support for his children,” he said.

“The committee is inclined to support the women legislators’ request. This should send a strong signal to all those who appear before the Commission on Appointments that we are not just looking into your performance as a public servant,” Zubiri added.

Meanwhile, in an interview with reporters on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, AFP spokesperson Colonel Francel Margareth Padilla denied the claims of Reyes-Sevilla that the AFP is ignoring her complaints.

Padilla said they could not make any comment on the matter, noting that the spouse’s case is still undergoing legal process, but she assured that the military does not condone such wrongdoings.

"As far as we are concerned, the AFP takes seriously all allegations and complaints pertaining to the protection of women and children,” she said.

"Rest assured that the AFP does not tolerate any form of abuse and continue to inculcate among our personnel strong social and family values…Our soldiers should know how to treat everyone with respect and kindness, especially our families, as we each perform our respective duties and responsibilities," she added. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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