From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 10, 2019): Raps vs. leftist groups to prove 'recruitment scheme'
The counsel of the parents of children, who were allegedly recruited by communist front groups, said Tuesday he is confident that the criminal complaints they filed will prove how these groups recruit minors and lure them to their illicit cause.
"We're very confident because this case clearly shows a pattern. The pattern of how they recruit: poisoning the minds of children. Legally speaking, the consent of the children is ruined. They do not consent. They do not allow. It is against their will," lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said in an interview on the sidelines of the hearing on the case filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Before the proceedings, Topacio led parents in a street protest against the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army (CPP-NPA) and leaders of its front organizations.
The parents also burned posters of key militant leaders and lawmakers, including Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes, former Bayan Muna party-list representatives Neri Colmenares and Teodoro Casiño, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate and Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago.
Originally summoned to appear before state prosecutors were Anakbayan members Charie del Rosario, Bianca Gacos, Jayroven Villafuente Balais, Vencer Crisostomo, and Einstein Recedes.
"We will be given a copy of their reply. We will then know what their defense arguments are," Topacio said.
Based on the complaint filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), Anakbayan is "an organization advocating violence in order to overthrow a legitimate government."
Among those present during the hearing were Colmenares and Elago.
The respondents submitted their counter-affidavits.
The charges were for violation of Republic Act 10364 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003; kidnapping; the laws on special protection of children in armed conflicts; and laws prohibiting child abuse.
Among the witnesses were rebel returnees Ma. Rebecca Pecayo and Edison Villanueva, who said they were recruited into the initial indoctrination by front youth groups.
The CPP-NPA is listed as terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.