Minors joining leftist groups worse off than drug users, parent says at Senate probe
MANILA, Philippines — Minors joining leftist groups are worse than drug addicts.
At least drug suspects could still be found, Junior Antoniano quipped during the hearing of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs on Wednesday.
Junior and wife, Jovita, were among the parents who narrated during the hearing of the committee how their children were recruited by leftists groups.
For more than a year now, the couple said they have not seen their daughter, who was recruited by the League of Filipino Students and Anakbayan.
Jovita said her daughter was a “stay-in” student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila when she was recruited to join the groups.
“Ang amin lang po ay matulungan niyo po kami na malantad man lang po ang aming anak kahit man lang po magparamdam lang po siya… Wala na po kaming communication sa kanya,” Junior said.
“Hindi namin alam po sir kung ano ang pinakain sa kanya, daig pa nila ‘yung nag-droga sir. Mabuti pa yung nag-drodroga sir e, nakikita pa e. E sila po wala na po talaga…” he added.
Neophyte Senator Ronaldo “Bato” dela Rosa, who presided over the hearing as chair of the committee, explained that unlike communism, victims of illegal drugs could still be rehabilitated.
“Pero ‘yung kumunismo, ang utak nyan kung walang proper intervention…hindi mawawala ‘yung kanyang pagka-radical na utak. So mas mabigat na kalaban talaga ‘yan…” Dela Rosa said.
The senator happened to be the architect of “Oplan Tokhang,” the government’s bloody war on drugs.
Dela Rosa previously headed the Philippine National Police before he was appointed chief of the Bureau of Corrections. He won his first term in the Senate during the last May elections. /je
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