PNP will look into activists’ abduction claim, stands by military statement
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will look into the claim of activists Jhed Tamano and Jonila Castro that they had been abducted by soldiers and police officers and will provide media with updates, Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr., PNP chief, said in a press briefing on Wednesday.
But he also said, speaking in a mix of English and Filipino: “Based on the statements of the parents of the two, they are saddened as they see and observe their children that they are already brainwashed or influenced [to join the communist rebels].”
“On the part of the PNP, we stand our ground that these two students who were missing were really somewhat encouraged to go up [the mountains to join the rebels]. I hope this situation will also warn other parents and others who may become victims of this movement,” he said.
The PNP did not give reporters copies of the parents’ statements that Acorda was referring to.
Acorda made the statement a day after the two environmental activists were presented in a press conference organized by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac).
But the activists denied the military statement that they surrendered on Sept. 12 to the Army’s 70th Infantry Battalion Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan.
Instead, they said they were abducted on Sept. 2 in Orion in Bataan.
Tamano and Castro were turned over to the Commission on Human Rights after Tuesday’s briefing.