The Philippine National Police (PNP) has accused the New People’s Army (NPA) of abducting four parents of some of the Lumad minors whom authorities claimed to have rescued from the retreat house of the University of San Carlos in Cebu City.
PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas said the four parents were among the Ata Manobo parents who were supposed to be met by local policemen in Talaingod town of Davao del Norte for their trip to Cebu City to meet their children.
Only two parents, however, showed up and quoting a report from the local police, Sinas said the four parents were taken on Sunday by organizers of communist front groups who introduced themselves as police officers.
He said the four were later monitored applying for travel authority at the airport and undergoing swab test.
“Obviously, these four parents were lured into believing they would be meeting with their children in Cebu when they were taken by persons who disguised themselves as police officers. I can only surmise that this is part of desperate moves by the communist front organizations to get away from the criminal liability of serious illegal detention and child exploitation,” said Sinas.
Sinas said, police and social welfare authorities in Davao are exerting effort to locate all parents of the Lumad children rescued from the University of San Carlos Retreat House in Balamban, Cebu City to obtain their sworn statements.
“These Lumad parents need to go to Cebu because their rescued minor children will only be released to them, and will only be allowed to travel back to Davao accompanied by their parents or guardians. However, the Lumad children are back in Davao now and there is no way the parents would be able to meet them in Cebu,” he said.
Six Lumad parents earlier travelled to Cebu City to accompany their rescued children back to Davao.
Of the 13 Manobo children rescued in Cebu City, only six were able to return to Davao on Sunday accompanied by their parents after the Children’s Legal Bureau cancelled the travel of the seven other Lumad kids because they were not accompanied by their parents.
But the social workers from Cebu and Davao, together with the tribal leaders worked together to bring the Talaingod children to Davao where they could supposedly meet their parents.
According to Sinas, the Ata Manobo children were among the 19 Lumad minors from different parts of Mindanao who were brought to Cebu City by members of communist front Salugpongan School purportedly to undergo alternative learning.
He added, however, that there were reports indicating that the children were undergoing some form of radicalization and revolutionary warfare indoctrination. (Aaron Recuenco)