Melissa denies she's NPA trainee in video

by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 29 2009 03:32 PM | Updated as of Jul 29 2009 11:36 PM

MANILA - Filipino-American Melissa Roxas has denied she was the alleged New People's Army (NPA) trainee in the video presented last Saturday by Congressmen Jovito Palparan and Pastor Alcover. (Read: Did Melissa Roxas train in NPA camp?)

She said this during the hearing on Wednesday of the House Committee on Human Rights. 

She, however, has filed a petition for the writ of habeas data and asked the court that all records, including videos and photos, “false and true, should be expunged and destroyed as they violate my right to privacy.”

Roxas also denied she was a member of the New People's Army (NPA) of the Communist Party of the Philippines. She said she was just an activist.

Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chair Leila de Lima declined to say whether she was convinced of Roxas' denial. But she said this will not prevent her from asking Roxas further questions.

But it is clear, de Lima said, that Melissa was the victim, whoever abducted her, because nobody deserves to be tortured.

During the hearing, de Lima revealed that the book “Love in the Time of Cholera” was found to have been purchased from National Bookstore’s branch in NE mall in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija.

The CHR was able to validate this by having National Bookstore identify the bar code on the book. The book was given to Melissa as a “souvenir” by the abductors.

For Rep. Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna, this is a giveaway clue that would lead investigators where Melissa was detained.

Rep. Ruffy Biazon said Melissa could have been held in Clark or Subic, “owing to her statement that she heard planes taking off and landing frequently, even at night.”

Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija does not have landing lights. The planes taking off and landing is a vital key to determining where she was held and who held her.

Rep. Erin Tañada, chair of the House committee on human rights, said the affiliation of Melissa doesn’t matter. The issue, he said, is that Melissa was tortured and this practice had to be stopped.                

De Lima said CHR’s investigation continues and it is important to know who abducted Melissa and identify what their motives were.