‘Missing’ coed denies mom’s testimony
MANILA, Philippines — One of the alleged “missing children” of parents who took part in a dramatic Senate hearing last week faced reporters on Tuesday to refute her mother’s allegations, saying she was never kidnapped, recruited, nor forced to stop schooling by communist rebels.
Lorevie Caalaman, 19, said she was shocked at her mother’s appearance before the Senate committee on public order chaired by Sen. Ronald dela Rosa as it was her first time to hear the concerns aired by her elder.
“It’s deeply hurtful to have cared for your child, only for them to leave this way,” a visibly fraught Elvie Caalaman, 42, had said during the hearing.
But the younger Caalaman set the record straight on Tuesday, saying that while she did not live at home, she made periodic visits and was constantly in contact with her parents.
She said she was surprised to read a Facebook post by her mother on July 15 alleging that she had been taken by the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP).
“I know my mother, and she’s not like that,” she said.
A senior high school graduate of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Caalaman said she joined the Kabataan party-list in 2018, but her mother never raised concerns about the group before. This has led her to believe that the military could have influenced her mother, she said.
It was also a lie, she added, that leftist organizations had forced her to stop schooling.
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