Military confirms Ocampo, party-list solon nabbed for human trafficking
The Philippine Army’s 1003rd Brigade has confirmed that former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo and incumbent ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro were among those arrested by local police allegedly for illegally holding and trafficking at least 14 minors.
Capt. Erick Calulot, Public Information Officer of the 1003rd Brigade, said in a statement on Thursday that five vans containing 74 people, including Ocampo, Castro, and 10 other teachers of Salugpongan schools were stopped by authorities Wednesday night in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
According to Calulot, some of the children were already taken home by their parents and tribal leaders, who allegedly demanded that Ocampo and Castro leave the area.
He also said the local government of Talaingod through Mayor Basillio Libayao has already passed a resolution condemning the presence and activities of the group in their area.
However, members of the Makabayan bloc said Ocampo and Castro were not trafficking minors, but were rescuing them from threats, harassment, and impending closure of their schools due to militarization.
“It would be a blatant and outrageous lie to accuse progressive lawmaker and former public school teacher Castro, former solon and peace advocate Ocampo, as well as the administrators of the Lumad school as child traffickers,” the Makabayan bloc said in a statement. /kga
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