Albayalde: No crafted stories to justify arrest of Satur Ocampo’s group
The police are not crafting stories to justify the arrest of former Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo, ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro, and 16 others, Director General Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday.
Ocampo’s group was intercepted at a checkpoint in Talaingod town, Davao del Norte on Nov. 28 for allegedly holding students of Salugpungan Learning Center, a school for Lumads, without the consent of their parents.
The PNP said it had received reports that the learning center was being used by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA) to instill rebellious ideas in its students.
But Castro denied their camp kidnapped the Lumad children, saying they only rescued them after paramilitary group Alamara allegedly padlocked their school.
She also challenged Albayalde to visit a Lumad school to see how academically excellent its students are.
“We’re not telling [you] that the school is illegitimate, but what they are saying is what they teach in that school dahil sabi nila, ‘yung pambansang awit na pinapakanta po nila ay iba. At kinanta pa nila dito ‘yun. We’re not making this up,” Albayalde said in a press briefing.
[We’re not telling you that the school is illegitimate, but what they are saying is what they teach in that school because they said the national anthem taught for them to sing is different. They even sang it here.]
Albayalde was referring to the October visit of Lumads to the national headquarters of the PNP in Quezon City, where he said they relayed some of their concerns.
“Pumunta sila dito. Alam ng mga bata. Umiiyak ‘yung mga bata na sila ay pinapapasok doon sa school na iyon pero iba ang itinuturo,” he added, adding that staff in the school were even teaching students how to stage rallies.
[They went here. The children know. They are crying because they are forced to go to that school which has a different teaching.]
He said some leftists groups also transport the Lumads to Metro Manila to join demonstrations during big events like the State of the Nation Address.
Albayalde also turned down Castro’s dare for him to visit a Lumad school.
“Hindi na siguro, kasi pagdating mo doon, mag-iba na ‘yung turo,” he said.
[Maybe I won’t go, because when you arrive there, the teaching might be changed.]
He also said it should be personnel of the Department of Education who should evaluate the teachings in the learning center. /atm
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