FORMER Bayan Muna partylist Representative Satur Ocampo, ACTS Teachers Representative France Castro, and a group of 75 others composed of activists, school administrators, students, and volunteers were arrested last night in the town of Talaingod in Davao del Norte, the military announced earlier today.
The group were reportedly coming from a humanitarian mission when they were arrested at a checkpoint in the village of Sto Niño, according to Senior Superintendent Ferlu Silvio, the provincial police chief of Davao del Norte.
A spokesperson for the Philippine National Police (PNP) said that the group included 14 minors who were aged 14 to 17.
Silvio said that kidnapping and human trafficking charges will be filed against Ocampo and the other adults in the group because one of the minors allegedly said he was taken against his will.
Senior Inspector Alarene Fulache, chief of the Women and Children’s Protection Desk of Davao del Norte Provincial Police, said Ocampo’s group couldn’t show a document to prove that the children’s parents consented to them taking their kids.
According to a statement released by the Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center Incorporated (STTICLC) the children were their students at their school in the village of Palma Gil in Talaingod.
Meggie Nolasco, STTICLC’s executive director, said members of the army blocked food supplies that were supposed to be given to the children on Tuesday.
Ocampo and his group reportedly went to the school to deliver food to the children.
According to a non-profit called Save Our Schools Network, Ocampo and his team felt that the children were unsafe in the school, which is why the brought the children with them when they left.
Ocampo and his team were stopped at the checkpoint after two of their five vans got flat tires from spikes laid out on the road.
Source: Coconuts Manila