‘Come home now,’ par­ents ap­peal

Sun Star Bacolod - - Front Page -

SOME par­ents of the ar­rested in­di­vid­u­als, in­clud­ing a mi­nor, dur­ing the re­cent search op­er­a­tions by state law en­forcers have ap­pealed to their chil­dren to come home.

Most of th­ese par­ents, who were present dur­ing the press con­fer­ence of the Philip­pine Army of­fi­cials in Ne­gros at a restau­rant in Ba­colod City yes­ter­day, claimed that they have not seen yet their chil­dren since they were re­leased by au­thor­i­ties days ago.

Sixty-four-year old Ma. Linda Olaera, of La Car­lota City, emo­tion­ally told re­porters that her 19-year old son was al­ready re­leased Wed­nes­day but he has not come home yet.

Olaera said her fam­ily has no idea about her son’s en­gage­ment with the al­leged cul­tural group, which was among those ar­rested dur­ing the raid in var­i­ous of­fices of pro­gres­sive groups in Ba­colod City last Oc­to­ber 31.

“Pauli ka na kay si papa mo galalain na [please come home, your fa­ther is so wor­ried],” she said in tears, ad­ding that “kun sin-o man nag­tago sa bata ko, iuli niyo sa amon [who­ever among you is keep­ing my child, please re­turn him to us].”

Thirty-eight-year old Max­ima Pinile, of Es­calante City, said her 14-year old daugh­ter was al­ready turned over to them by the Depart­ment So­cial Ser­vices and De­vel­op­ment on Mon­day.

How­ever, the mi­nor asked for per­mis­sion to go to a doc­tor. She was not able to re­turn home since then, the mother added.

An­other par­ent from La Car­lota City ap­pealed to those in cus­tody of his 18-year old son.

Jo­mar Tano, 42, said he was told that his son will be sent home by a group who fetched him from the po­lice head­quar­ter. “Un­til now, he has not come home.”

Philip­pine Army 3rd In­fantry Divi­sion spokesper­son Army Cap­tain Cenon Pancito III said they did not in­flu­ence the par­ents as op­posed to the claim of Gabriela Party-list Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ar­lene Brosas.

Pancito said most of th­ese par­ents have tes­ti­fied, in fact, part of the hu­man traf­fick­ing case filed against some lo­cal group lead­ers.

The three par­ents said they are will­ing to co­op­er­ate with the au­thor­i­ties for the im­me­di­ate re­trieval of their chil­dren. Mean­while, an­other par­ent ap­peared in the sep­a­rate press con­fer­ence of the pro­gres­sive group lead­ers claim­ing that their chil­dren in Es­calante City were threat­ened to be de­tained by the mil­i­tary.

Thirty-seven-year old Junelle Mi­raflor, who was one of those ar­rested and re­leased, said they were ha­rassed by the gov­ern­ment forces.

Au­thor­i­ties, though, have de­nied such al­le­ga­tion./epn

EPN PHOTO

(From left) Philip­pine Army 3rd In­fantry Divi­sion spokesper­son Army Cap­tain Cenon Pancito III and 303rd In­fantry Bri­gade Colonel Bene­dict Arevalo in a sep­a­rate press con­fer­ence in Ba­colodCity yes­ter­day.

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