Zarate to Dela Rosa: I advised ‘missing activist’ to rekindle ties with parents
MANILA, Philippines – Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate has reminded Senator Ronald dela Rosa that he advised the so-called ‘missing activist’ to mend ties with her parents, amid her decision to leave home and join leftist organizations.
Zarate on Thursday insisted that 18-year-old student and Anakbayan member Alicia Lucena voluntarily sought the help of the Makabayan bloc in clearing allegations that she was kidnapped and brainwashed.
This was after Dela Rosa questioned Zarate’s traits as a parent for not returning Lucena to her mother despite requests by the latter.
“Bilang mambabatas, tinulungan natin na magpaliwanag siya ng malaya na hindi iniipit o tinatakot ninuman, lalu na ng PNP o AFP,” Zarate said in a statement.
“Personally, bilang isang magulang din, pinayuhan ko siya na i-reach out ang kanyang magulang at makipag-ayos,” he added.
During a press conference at the House of Representatives on Wednesday where Lucena spoke, Zarate said that they are still urging the student to talk to her parents.
“Of course pinapayuhan namin sila na kailangan talagang i-win over mo ‘yung pamilya mo, magpapaliwanag…” he said in the press conference.
Previously, Lucena issued a statement on Facebook insisting that she left home on her own terms, due to personal reasons. This was after her mother, Relissa Lucena, became emotional over her daughter’s decision to join progressive groups during a Senate hearing where Dela Rosa was present.
Zarate though reminded Dela Rosa again that even as parents, they can only advise and guide children.
“Pero dapat maintindihan ng ninuman na wala akong karapatang diktahan at pilitin ang isang nasa tamang edad or of legal age na kabataan o individual na gawin ang isang bagay, lalo pa kung labag sa loob niya ito. Paglabag ‘yon sa batayang karapatan nya bilang mamamayan at bilang tao,” he explained.
“Pwede tayong magpayo at magmungkahi, but at the end of the day, dahil nasa tamang gulang na sila at hindi sila mga robot, sila pa rin ang magdedisisyon para sa kanilang sarili,” he added.
The solon also insisted that there are no missing minors because first, the students were of legal age and second, they were not forced to join the organizations.
“Oo, may hindi pagkaintindihan ng mga magulang at anak. Pero makikita din na sinamantala lang ng PNP at AFP ang ‘di pagkakaintindihan sa pamilya ng mga dumalo sa hearing para manira ng mga progresibong organisasyon at maging tuntungan para sikilin pa ang karapatan ng mamamayan at itulak ang mga marahas at mapanupil na mga batas tulad ng na-repeal nang anti-subversion law,” he noted.
Talks of minors joining activist groups as a gateway to communist rebel force New People’s Army (NPA) have sparked calls to reinstate Republic Act 1700 or the Anti-Subversion Act, which allows state forces to arrest individuals based merely on affiliation with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Just on Wednesday, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgar Arevalo said that CPP, NPA, and the National Democratic Front (NDF) cannot be treated separately or differently. /je
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