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Parents took child to police camps to bar her from joining Anakbayan

/ 02:38 PM August 14, 2019
Parents took child to police camps to bar her from joining Anakbayan

Alicia Lucena answers questions from the media during a press conference at the House of Representatives on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Screengrab from Act Teachers Party-List video stream of the press briefing

MANILA, Philippines — Alicia Lucena, the senior high student who was reported missing by her mother, on Wednesday revealed that her parents had brought her to the police to block her from continuing her membership to progressive group Anakbayan.

And this, Lucena said, had pushed her to leave their home.

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“‘Yung mga panahon pong missing ako, quote-unquote, I preferred not to talk to them (parents) kasi super hostile po noong approach nila sa akin tapos nung nasa bahay po ako dinadala po ako sa Camp Aguinaldo, Camp Bagong Diwa dahil sa pagiging aktibista ko po,” the 18-year-old explained during the weekly press conference of the House Makabayan bloc. 

Lucena said she left home on July 10 and stayed with a friend, contrary to her mother Relissa’s claim that she went missing and was kidnapped by Anakbayan. Relissa earlier appeared at a Senate hearing led by Senator Ronald dela Rosa on the alleged recruitment of students by leftist groups to the underground movement.

READ: Daughter refutes mom: I am not missing, brainwashed; I left home willingly

Lucena said she was brought to police camps and was forced to talk to supposed New People’s Army (NPA) “surrenderers.”

“Mostly pag dinadala po ako ‘di po ako aware na dadalhin ako… kinakausap nila ako… tapos ina-assume nilang may mga ginagawa akong illegal, ‘yung mga rebel surrenderees (sic) po,” she recounted.

Bayan Muna Reps. Carlos Zarate, Eufemia Cullamat, and Ferdinand Gaite; Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago; ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro; and Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas were also present during the press briefing.

Zarate said that while this could be a “traumatic” experience for Lucena, they are still urging her to reconcile with her family. 

“Of course pinapayuhan namin sila na kailangan talagang i-win over mo ‘yung pamilya mo, magpapaliwanag…” he said.

“At bilang magulang hindi pwedeng i-impose din natin ‘yung ating gusto sa ating mga anak especially sila ay of legal age. We can continue giving our guidance and advice to them,” Zarate added.

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The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group said they had lodged kidnapping and other complaints against Anakbayan leaders over Lucena’s case. Elago said the complaints are just aimed at “harassing” and “silencing” progressive youth groups. 

“Nakabatay po ‘yan sa fake news at false allegations kaya po tayo ay tiwala na ito ay madali rin mababasura. ‘Yan ay isang harassment case lamang para patahimikin ‘yung mga national organizations na naninindigan laban sa mga pamamaslang kaugnay ng drug war at iba pang patakaran ng Duterte administration,” the progressive lawmaker said.

READ: Elago: Complaint vs Anakbayan meant to ‘harass, silence’ progressives

Dela Rosa, chair of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, denied this Wednesday.

“We are not here because the groups who have allegedly recruited their children are critics of the administration… We are here voluntarily because their children are being coddled by these organizations and they (parents) have grown desperate because their pleas have not been heeded by the said groups,” he said.

READ: No witch hunt in Senate probe on students recruited by activists – Dela Rosa

/kga

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