Elago on Senate report: Probe Dela Rosa instead of student leaders
MANILA, Philippines — Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago denounced Thursday the Senate committee report recommending a probe and possible filing of charges against her and other student leaders linked to the alleged recruitment of minor students by leftist groups.
The Senate committees on public order, headed by Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, and national defense, chaired by Senator Panfilo Lacson, prepared Committee Report No. 10 signed by 17 senators.
“Ang tanong namin, bakit ako, bakit ang mga kabataan, bakit hindi si Senator Bato?” Elago said in a press conference.
(Our question is, why me, why the youth, why not Senator Bato?)
“Dapat siya po ‘yung imbestigahan dahil dun sa role n’ya bilang dating PNP at BuCorchief libu-libo ang mga namatay na walang kalaban-laban at mga mahihirap sa drug ops ng mga pulis, samantalang nagpalaya pala ng mga murderer, rapists, drug lords at nanatili rin under his watch ‘yung ninja cops,” she added.
(Dela Rosa should be probed because as former Philippine National Police and Bureau of Corrections chief, thousands of poor and powerless have died in the drug war while murderers, rapists, and drug lords had been released and unscrupulous cops had remained unscathed during his watch.)
Elago also blasted the committees’ recommendation to allow the presence of a “reasonable number” of police forces in school premises.
Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas said the committee report was a clear “political harassment” and attempt to curtail people’s civil and political liberty to criticize the government.
For her part, ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro said teachers all over the country would oppose the panels’ suggestion to file administrative sanctions against teachers urging students to participate in rallies and street demonstrations that advocate radical and subversive ideologies.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, meanwhile, said the report “reflects the type of thinking of those who were hazed.”
Although the committee report recognized the right of expression and academic freedom, it said, “the exercise of these rights should observe lawful limitations, and should not, at any time, sacrifice the rights and interests of the youth who may end up as armed combatants for the communist groups.”
The committee report will still be debated before the Senate plenary. /kga
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