SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The 9th Circuit granted political asylum to a Philippine woman who claimed she was repeatedly raped and tortured by members of a violent, revolutionary Communist group called the New People’s Army because her father was a World War II veteran with ties to the Philippine government.
Rosalina Silaya claims that she left San Mateo Sur when she was 16, after her older sister had been kidnapped and raped. The Silaya family believed NPA members were responsible, because they had it in for Silaya’s father, who had served under Gen. Douglas McArthur.
Silaya returned to see her family when she turned 23. In the middle of the night, several NPA men allegedly broke into their home and silenced the family dog by cutting off its head with a sword. She claims she heard men saying, “I want your daughter,” and saw them put a sword to her father’s throat and punch her mother. Silaya lost consciousness trying to fight off the men. She says she awoke to find herself blindfolded, naked and hanging upside down by her feet with her hands tied behind her back.
Over the next three days, the men allegedly beat her, cut her, poured “hot thick liquid” on her, burned her, threatened her and repeatedly raped her.
They then carried her back to her home and threw her in the living room, still bound and naked, Silaya claims. She later found out she was pregnant from the rapes.
The appellate court reversed the Board of Immigration’s finding that Silaya failed to link her mistreatment to a protected ground. She was able to make an imputed political asylum claim by establishing that “the NPA members knew who she was, knew who her father was, and made comments indicating that Rosalina was chosen as a victim because of her father’s ties to the Philippine government,” the judges ruled.