By Gabriela Baron
Militant group Anakbayan made a statement on Thursday against the kidnapping charges filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) against their members after a student was reported ‘missing’.
The progressive group called the move a ‘red scare’.
“There are no missing minors. All those purported to be ‘missing’ are above the age of 18,” the group wrote.
It added that joining the group is purely voluntary and done through each one’s own free will and volition. Adding that members are free to join and leave anytime.
“Anakbayan is a legitimate youth organization on the front lines of organizing and mobilizing against acts of injustice, tyranny, violence, exploitation, and oppression on the Filipino people,” the leftist group said.
The group revealed that the attack is ‘nothing new’. It has been a target of constant harassment, red-tagging, and black propaganda because of its ‘strong’ and ‘unwavering advocacy’ to advance the rights and interests of the Filipino masses and the youth.
“They attack us because they are threatened by our potential, by the power of the youth to effect genuine social change.”
The attacks are carried, said the group, in order to ‘disarm’ and ‘silence’ them.
“We have learned our history well. We will stand our ground with the long-suffering Filipino masses. Here we stand–NAKIKIBAKA, HINDI NATATAKOT.” (Fighting and not being afraid) the militant group ended.
Meanwhile, the senior high student who was allegedly kidnapped said she left home due to family problems and personal issues and not because she was brainwashed by the group.
The student clarified that she was never coerced to do anything as she voluntarily made the decision to join Anakbayan.
“Walang mali sa paglaban, may mali, kaya lumalaban.” (There is nothing wrong with standing up, we are standing up because there is something wrong.) she said in a Facebook post.
The teen’s parents, Relissa Lucena testified at the hearing of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs after filing kidnapping charges against members and officials of Anakbayan on August 1 for allegedly kidnapping her daughter.