Aquino likens anti-kidnapping crusader to Cory
MANILA, Philippines–In the eyes of President Benigno Aquino, anti-kidnapping crusader Teresita Ang-See is of the same “caliber” as his mother, democracy icon Corazon Aquino.
At the 20th anniversary convention of the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order (MRPO) held in Intramuros, Manila, President Aquino praised Ang-See for organizing a movement two decades ago that helped law enforcement authorities resolve many kidnapping cases in the country.
Starting as an ad hoc group in 1993, the MRPO was formed during the heyday of kidnap-for-ransom groups. It was the MRPO that spearheaded in January of that year the protest march at the funeral of 15-year-old Charlene Sy, who was mercilessly killed by her captors.
Mr. Aquino said Ang-See “represents, to me, some of the best traits of the Filipino and the Filipino woman at that.”
“I liken her to my mother,” said Mr. Aquino.
“My mother was a housewife. She could have just said, ‘You know, we’ve sacrificed enough, we’ve done our part. Please leave us alone.’ But she took the cudgels [from] my father, continued the fight, and we restored democracy,” he said.
Turning to Ang-See, he said she “is of the same caliber, of the same feather.”
“She could have opted not to adopt all of the problems or face the same dangers–in fact, a lot of times, face more dangers than even the kidnap victims themselves–in trying to put an end to, really, this nefarious situation,” said Mr. Aquino.
He said the fierce crusader had decided to “choose to do something about a situation she saw as wrong, and she has contributed tremendously to solving this problem that plagues our country.”
Ang-See, who spoke ahead of the President, pledged to continue the fight against kidnappers, saying the MRPO “encourages its members to fight back” by coordinating with law enforcement agencies.
In her speech, she inadvertently disclosed that a 12-year-old girl was abducted several days ago, and that “this is not an isolated incident.”
Sought for clarification, she told the Inquirer that the girl, whom she did not name, “has been released.”
She recalled that “kidnapping was almost a perfect crime” before because the victims’ families were afraid to report the incidents and cooperate with authorities.
The MRPO’s involvement in combating this crime has “made a difference in the lives of the victims and their families,” she said.
“From the height of one kidnapping every other day, we have cut it down very drastically–from 2003 to 2012–to … 50 percent. Of course, a number of them are now [happening] in Mindanao,” she said.
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