Sunday, July 21, 2019

Parents of girls 'recruited' by CPP fronts seek police help

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 19, 2019): Parents of girls 'recruited' by CPP fronts seek police help

CRY FOR HELP. Relissa Santos (middle) speaks on behalf of other parents about the ordeal they are experiencing after their children were recruited by communist-linked groups in a press conference at the Manila Police District (MPD) on Friday (July 19, 2019). The MPD has assured prompt action on the complaints of the group. (PNA photo by Benjamin Pulta)

A Facebook group formed by parents of schoolgirls in their mid-teens recruited by communist front groups has grown to more than 15,000 engagements with similarly-situated distraught parents sharing experiences and news about their missing children.

Members of the group sought the assistance of the Manila Police District (MPD) which is now evaluating whether to pursue the charges of child abuse and exploitation and inducing a minor to leave his home against the students' recruiters.

In a press briefing on July 19, Capt. Ana Lourence Simbajon of the MPD assured prompt action on the complaints.

'Stabbed in the back'

For Relissa Santos, 37, enrolling her daughter Alicia Jasper (nicknamed AJ) in a private university will ensure that she is safe and secure. However, what happened to her daughter was the extreme opposite of what she expected.

"'Yung anak ko hindi pa sanay 'yan sa labas. First time pumasok sa isang university. Kaya ko nga siya pinasok sa university na may bayad kasi gusto ko safe 'yung anak ko. Pero dun pa lang sa school, para akong sinaksak nang patalikod kasi dun sila nagre-recruit.('My daughter is not used to going outside. It's her first time to enroll in a univeristy. I enrolled her in a university even if I would have to pay a hefty amount because I want her to be safe. But as for the school alone, I felt like I was stabbed in the back because they are recruiting students there)," Santos tearfully said.

"Anong kasiguraduhan ng mga magulang na 'yung anak nila, safe pa (sa school)? (What is the assurance for parents that their children are still safe in schools?)," she added.

Santos said her daughter who originally wanted to be a military officer was recruited at the Far Eastern University by the Anakbayan, a youth organization supporting the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA).

"I just want my daughter back," Santos told reporters.

Alicia Jasper, who remains missing, will turn 18 later this month.
In a Facebook post on July 11, Santos recounted how her daughter showed a change of behavior after joining the communist-linked group after enrolling in school.

Santos said these changes in AJ's attitude started in October last year. Last February 3, AJ ran away from home and returned three days later.

Upon her return, AJ told her that she doesn't want to go to school anymore and that Relissa must forget that she has a daughter.

AJ left home again on March 10 while Relissa continued to monitor her activities including the group which she joined, only to discover something horrible.

"Noong March 10, 2019, muli siyang lumayas at doon patuloy ko lang sya muna pinabayaan habang kinikilala ko ang kanyang mga recruiterat kung saan patungo ang kanyang pinaglalaban. Natakot ako sa kanyang mga sulat at libro na nagtuturo ng armadong pakikibaka kung kaya noong May 22, kinausap ko sya at kanyang mga lider na pauwiin sya at sinabi ko na ide-demanda ko sila kung hindi nila papauwiin ang aking anak (She ran away from home again on March 10 and I just let her continue with her activities while I am checking on her recruiters and what do they aim with their convictions. I got scared when I looked into her notes and books as these are calling for an armed struggle. On May 22, I talked to her and to her leaders. I asked them to let her go home or I will sue them if they do not let my daughter go home)," Santos said.

"What kind of group would instruct children to tell their parents to forget them and that they are no longer their parents' offsprings?" Santos bewailed.

Santos also scored Anakbayan for preying on the callow minds of the youth and deceiving them into joining the communist movement.

"Naniniwala ako na ang teen stage nila ay nasa critical stage na sinamantala ng eskwelahan at ng grupong Anakbayan para gamitin at ipamukha sa aking anak na sila lamang ang makakapagpabago ng lipunan. Napaka-fragile pa ng kanilang isip para punuin ng galit (I believe that the teen stage is a critical stage which was taken advantage of by the school and Anakbayan for them to lure my daughter into the false premise that they will be able to change the society. Their minds are still fragile to be filled with hatred)," she added.

Santos, along with three other families from as far as Tuy, Batangas, sought help from the MPD for them to be able to get their children back.

Another mother, Trisha Guevarra from Batangas, said her daughter has been missing for over a year shortly after joining a communist front group at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP).

She would return after a few weeks and has now been missing for over a year after enrolling as an 11th grader.
Call for vigilance

Meanwhile, another mother Elvie Caalaman, advised parents to be wary of their children's activities in school.

"Dun sa mga magulang na nag-aaral ('yung mga anak) sa school, pinaalalahanan namin kayo na bantayan nyo 'yung mga anak nyo. Sana 'yung mga anak nyo, manmanan nyo kung ano na 'yung kilos, 'yung mga ginagawa nila (To the parents who have children in school, monitor your children’s activities)," Caalaman said.

In a Facebook post on July 15, Caalaman showed pictures of her daughter Lorevie who joined Kabataan party-list group.

A video showed Lorevie speaking at an anti-government demonstration.

"Nilason ang kanyang puso at isipan ng KABATAAN PARTYLIST na ang maganda niyang katangian noon nilason ng KABATAAN PARTYLIST wala ng ganang mag aral,wala ng pangarap sa buhay ang pagmamahal niya sa magulang,mga kapatid ay nawala na ng dahil sa KABATAAN PARTYLIST (Kabataan Partylist poisoned her mind and heart. Her good traits waned because of Kabataan Partylist. Because of this group, she lost interest in her studies and she doesn't have any dreams anymore. Her love for her parents and siblings are now gone because of Kabataan Partylist)," Caalaman said.

She also called on the PUP management to be watchful and prevent their premises from being recruitment grounds of communist-linked groups.

"PUP, maging aware sana kayo na ang dami ng estudyante niyo na naging aktibista, rebelde sa iba't ibang grupo. Mga magulang, ang hirap ng dinanas namin sa anak namin na wala kang ibang nais sa kanila ay ang magkaroon sila ng magandang kinabukasan kaya pinaaral mo pero nakakalungkot na mismo sa loob ng school hindi na (sila) safe dahil sa loob pala mismo maraming nanamantala (PUP, please be aware of this situation. Many of your students are becoming activitists and rebels who are now members of various groups. As parents, we are burdened as these are happening to our children and we only want them to have a good future. This is why we want them to go to school. However, it is saddening that they are not even safe in schools because many are preying on them)," she added.

All the children had chosen Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS) Strand in their Academic Track in senior high school, the parents said.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

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