Militants dared to answer query of missing students’ parents

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
Militants dared to answer query of missing students� parents
Albayalde said Anakbayan should face the worried parents of the students and tell them about their fate.
Geremy Pintolo

 MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde yesterday dared Anakbayan to answer the allegations of the parents of five students who went missing after they were recruited into the militant group.

Albayalde said Anakbayan should face the worried parents of the students and tell them about their fate.

The parents of the students, three from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), one from the Far Eastern University (FEU) and another from the University of the East (UE) Manila, claimed their children went missing after being recruited by Anakbayan.

One of the parents, Relissa Lucena, told lawmakers that her daughter has yet to come home after becoming a full-time member of the left-leaning group.

The PNP Criminal Investigation and  Detection Group (CIDG) has filed cases for trafficking in persons and exploitation of minors against the youth mass organization led by Vencer Crisostomo.

Anakbayan denied the allegations that they were “brainwashing” the students to join the group.

The group instead accused the government of reviving the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program to brainwash the youth into serving in what they called President Duterte’s “armed thugs.”

During the Senate hearing on the missing students last Wednesday, Sen. Ronald dela Rosa had claimed Anakbayan has been brainwashing the students to rebel against the government.

Albayalde said Anakbayan should be responsible enough to tell the parents of their children’s whereabouts instead of blaming the government.

“They should answer the parents, instead of blaming the Armed Forces and the PNP,” he said.  – With Paolo Romero

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