Satur Ocampo calls kidnapping complaint a 'political persecution'
Kristine Joy Patag ( - January 8, 2019 - 3:16pm

MANILA, Philippines — Former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo said that the police’s trafficking and kidnapping complaint against him is a “clear case of political persecution.”

Ocampo on Tuesday subscribed to his counter-affidavit before Acting Prosecutor General Richard Anthony Fadullon on the criminal complaint he is facing at the Tagum, Davao del Norte prosecutors’ office.

Ocampo, Rep. France Castro (ACT party-list) and 16 others are facing child abuse and kidnapping complaint filed by Talaingod Municipal Police Station, represented by police senior inspector Rogaciano Gara.

In his counter-affidavit, Ocampo said that he was invited by National Solidarity Mission, organized by Save our Schools Network, to give humanitarian aid to indigenous peoples students and teachers of the Salugpungan Ta Tanu Ingkanogon Community Learning Center

He said that their team proceeded to a school in Sitio Dulyan after they received a call, saying that there were elements of the 56th Infantry Battalion of Philippine Army and Alamara forcing them out of the school.

Alamara is a paramilitary group that human rights groups have linked to attacks on indigenous peoples' communities in the province.

They were halted at a checkpoint at Sitio Igang and only four out of five vans were allowed to pass. He was onboard the van that was stopped.

“I was not part of the group that met the students and teachers who were forced to leave the Salugpungan school in Sitio Dulyan,” the former lawmaker said.

Ocampo said that he did not see the students and teachers who were allegedly kidnapped until they met at the police station

“I would like to emphasize that we fetched the students and teachers after they called for immediate help since they were forced by the members of Alamara to leave the school,” Ocampo added.

Police detention

The STAR reported that Capt. Jerry Lamosao, chief information officer of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said that Ocampo’s group was transporting the teachers and students—including 12 minors—from Sitio Igang in Barangay Palma Gil to Maco, Compostela Valley when they were intercepted.

They were later held at Talaingod municipal police for child trafficking and kidnapping.

But Save the Schools Network stressed that Ocampo’s group was in Davao del Norte as part of the fact-finding mission to look into attacks against Lumad schools.

Tagum Executive Judge Arlene Palabrica ordered the release of Ocampo and others who were detained.

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