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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, November 8, 2019
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Return our children, parents ask


Return our children.

The appeal was aired yesterday by parents of a minor and two teenagers to militant groups, who took custody of their children, following their release from police custody.

Maxima Pinile, Jomar Tano and Nilda Villamonte, who joined a press conference with Army Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, yesterday said that their children have not yet returned to their homes, as of the time of the conference, after their release on Wednesday.

Pinile said her 14-year-old daughter previously told her that she is a member of a cultural dance group.

The police released the 13 minors rescued during the simultaneous raids on the offices of militant and party-list groups in Bacolod City on Oct. 31, that also led to the arrest of 42 other activists.

Six of the arrested activists were charged for qualified human trafficking on Wednesday before the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office.

Ma. Linda Olaera, however, said that she is happy now, that she was able to reunite with her daughter.

After joining the cultural group of militant groups, Villamonte, on the other hand, said she noticed that her daughter became disrespectful.

Arevalo, who is the 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, yesterday revealed that the cultural group of militant organizations performed during the 50th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines in Negros Oriental, in December last year.

Arevalo called on Negrenses not to trust militant organizations, as many innocents have victimized by their lies and deceptions, citing the rescue of minors being trained to be child warriors, as an example.

He said his challenge for the Makabayan bloc solons, who slammed authorities for the simultaneous raids offices of militant groups, to explain presence of minors only got deafening silence from them.

Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya, Joint Task Force Negros chief, yesterday claimed that the alleged offices of the militant groups being raided in Bacolod City, are actually ‘underground houses’ of the New People’s Army.

Vinoya said the “underground houses” are closed most of the time, and they are where guns and injured NPA members are being hidden, as indicated by the recovery of more than 30 firearms and explosives.*


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