Taking custody of minors or individuals against the will of their parents is a clear violation of the anti-kidnapping law, PCol. Romeo Baleros, Negros Occidental provincial police director, said yesterday.
This developed as Baleros questioned militant groups for taking custody of some minors and teenagers, following their release from police custody last week, instead of returning them to their parents.
Parents of a minor and two teenagers had earlier issued an appeal for their children to be returned to them.
Once you prevent persons or a family from getting back their children, that is a clear violation of the anti-kidnapping law, Baleros said, during his weekly press conference at Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr. in Bacolod City.
Six of the 11 arrested activists, who are now facing charges for illegal possession of firearms and explosives, were also charged for qualified human trafficking last week before the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office.
This was in connection with the rescue of 13 minors during the raids on offices of various militant organizations and party-list groups on Oct. 31 in Bacolod City, that also yielded assorted guns and explosives.
Militant groups insist the guns and explosives were planted by the raiding team.
Baleros said that parents of the rescued minors and teenagers can file complaints against those who took custody of their children.
“Just give us one or two sentences, and we will charge them in court, after the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group initiates a probe,” he added.
The minors and teenagers are reportedly members of a cultural dance group, who perform during mass actions of militant organizations.
Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, recalled 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 were victimized by their lies and deceptions, citing the rescue of minors being trained as child warriors, as an example, in the guise of being members of a cultural dance group.*
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