Dela Rosa orders police to get student from leftist groups
MANILA, Philippines — In the middle of a Senate hearing on Wednesday, neophyte Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa directed the police to rescue a student reportedly enlisted by a leftist group.
Dela Rosa, a former national police chief, issued the order when tearful Relissa Lucena appealed to authorities to help her get back her daughter, Alicia, a student of the Far Eastern University (FEU), from groups reportedly handling the 18-year-old now.
Relissa first appeared in the hearing of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs last week where she narrated how her daughter was recruited by Anakbayan group.
She said Alicia left their home on July 10 or exactly two weeks before her 18th birthday.
Relissa lamented the fact their daughter spent her birthday with other people, instead of her family. “May karapatan po ba kayo kesa sa akin? Huwag nyo pong gamitin ‘yung anak ko,” she said.
What also pained her was Alicia’s claim that she has already been receiving death threats.
“Gusto ko lang po makuha ‘yung anak ko,” Relissa added.
Dela Rosa, who was presiding over the hearing as chair of the committee, asked the mother if she had any idea where the death threat came from.
“Kami from the government sector, I can assure you that nobody and nobody from the government sector is going to harm your child. I can assure you that,” he said.
But Relissa said her daughter might have been brainwashed already.
“Gusto ko na pong makasama ‘yung anak ko. Alam ko sa akin safe ‘yan,” she said, “Pwede bang magtanong, pwede na po bang makuha ‘yung anak ko?”
At this point, Dela Rosa told the mother that the police would accompany her to get back her daughter.
“Nandito si General Eleazar. Eleazar, puntahan mo ‘yung nagpre-presscon sila ngayon dun,” said the senator, referring to National Capital Region Police Office chief Guilermo Eleazar.
Then to the mother, Dela Rosa said, “Kunin mo ‘yung anak mo. May police kang kasama, hilahin mo ha. Anak mo yun! You have all the right in this world to put your daughter into your custody. Sila wala silang karapatan…”
Relissa, however, said her daughter might run again even if she gets her from her coddlers.
“‘Yan ang problema. Sakit ng ulo ito,” Dela Rosa said.
The senator then asked the opinion of the Commission on Human Rights through its representative in the hearing, Atty Erwin Calida.
In particular, Dela Rosa asked Calida if the mother could get her daughter by force.
“Menor de edad po ba ‘yung anak po ninyo?” Calida asked the mother, adding that the law on recruitment of minors must be checked first.
“Sir, ibig sabihin po ba, sila may karapatan sa anak ko? Ako wala?” Relissa asked to which Calida answered: “Mahirap pong sagutin ‘yun.” /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.