Philippines

President Duterte defends police over arrest of Ocampo

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PRRD defends police over arrest of Ocampo
By Jelly Musico

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday defended the police’s action to arrest former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and several others for kidnapping and human trafficking.

“I support the police and the military. You know an ordinary person, lalo na kung senador ka (especially if you are a senator), you must be aware that you cannot remove children from one community to another without the consent of the parents,” Duterte said in a media interview after conferring the posthumous Quezon Service Award on the late senator Miriam Defensor Santiago at the Malacañang Palace.

Duterte said what Ocampo and 17 others have done “is actually kidnapping” since parents have complained that their children were brought by Ocampo’s group without their consent.

“Eh nagreklamo ‘yung mga victims (The victims complained). You heard they were lectured upon by the Lumads. And it’s like controlling the lives of the natives,” Duterte said.

“Iyan ang mahirap sa komunista, ginagamit nila ang Lumad. Kaya ang karamihan ngayon ang namamatay Lumad (That’s the problem with the communists, they are using Lumads. That’s why many of those killed were Lumads),” he added.

He said the government has to get back the Lumads and tell them that the New People’s Army (NPA) will destroy them.

“When they (the communists) started to go to the mountains and wage a war there, they recruited ang pinaka vulnerable (the most vulnerable), the Lumads,” Duterte said.

Duterte said Ocampo’s Bayan Muna as well as Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and Gabriela are fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

“Bakit pa tayo magbobolahan? (Why we should fool each other?) Satur Ocampo is fronting Bayan. Bayan is a front of the CPP. We know that KMU, Gabriela, they’re all communist fronts or being used by the communists. Alam ninyo lahat yan. (All of you know that),” Duterte told the media.

“I will defend my soldiers and my policemen for sure because I think that they are right,” he added.

The military and police arrested Ocampo and 17 others, including ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro, at a checkpoint in Talaingod in Davao del Norte on Nov. 26 for transporting students of Lumad school Salungpungan Learning Center without permission from their parents.

Ocampo’s group was released after posting bail. (PNA)

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