‘What kind of parent are you?’: Bato hits Zarate, Elago over ‘missing’ student
MANILA, Philippines — What kind of parent are you?
Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa gave this scathing remark against Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate on Thursday as he lambasted him for not returning a student reported missing by her mother.
Dela Rosa, as chairman of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, is conducting an investigation on minors allegedly recruited by leftist groups.
During Wednesday’s hearing of the committee, one of the parents, Relissa Luena, pleaded authorities to help her get back her daughter, Alicia, from groups handling her.
At the same time, however, Alicia was at a press conference in the House of Representatives with Zarate, Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago, and other members of so-called Makabayan bloc.
“I tell you Congressman Zarate, you’re also a parent. If you’re a responsible parent, alam mo umiiyak yung mother, hindi ka ba naawa sa mother? Tinulungan mo na sana, hinatid mo yung bata sa mother,” Dela Rosa said in an interview in the Senate.
“Anong klaseng parent ka? Nakita mong grabeng hirap ng parent tapos ikaw nandyan, pinapa presscon-presscon mo pa? Sa loob ng Congress pinapa presscon mo ang isang bata na, as far as the parent is concerned, is missing dahil hindi niya nakiita. Ngayon nadyan sa harapan mo?”
According to the mother, then 16-year-old student Alicia joined Anakbayan and left home last July 2. She turned 18 years old last July 24.
Dela Rosa said that if Zarate was a responsible congressman, he would have brought Alicia back to her grieving mother.
“Ngayon kung ayaw talaga ng bata na umalis, di pabayaan mong umalis,” he said. “At least you’ve done an amount of kindness as a public servant to a grieving mother.”
The senator also had a message for Elago.
“Magiging nanay ka rin. Magiging parent ka rin. And you will discover gaano kasama yung ginawa mo ngayon sa kabataan. Magiging mother ka rin…” he said.
But Alicia denied claims that she went missing or was kidnapped by Anakbayan.
“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,” she said.
Asked about Alicia’s supposed allegation that Dela Rosa was using her parents, the senator said: “Wow, sinong nanggagamit ngayon? Ako ang ginagamit ng parents nila para ma-solve yung problema nila.”
“Hindi ako ang nanggagamit ng parents nila. Sino ang pumunta sa opisina ko? Yung parents nila kasi may problema.” /je
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