MANILA -- A legislative inquiry led by Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa into the alleged disappearance of children recruited by leftist organizations is meant to harass critics of the administration, Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago claimed Thursday.
A resolution filed by Dela Rosa to launch the inquiry did not mention Kabataan, but the party-list later received an invitation to attend Wednesday's hearing, said Elago.
"Intent ng hearing ay ma-harass itong mga organizations na ito na ni isang beses 'di naman mentioned sa resolution, pero sa hearing meron silang particular orgs na hinahanap," she told reporters.
"Halatang parte po ito ng tuloy-tuloy na pag-atake sa mga kabataan at mga atake sa eskwelahan," she added.
(The intent of the hearing is to harass these organizations that were not mentioned even once in the resolution, but were suddenly being searched for during the hearing. This is obviously part of the ongoing attack on the youth and schools.)
The supposed harassment, Elago said, started when authorities claimed that communist rebels were recruiting students from 18 universities for the alleged "Red October" plot to overthrow the government.
COPS IN CAMPUSES
Elago also claimed that Dela Rosa, a former police chief, supposedly attempted during the hearing to junk an agreement for law enforcers to get permission from school authorities before entering their campuses.
"Nakita rin yung tunay na hangarin ay i-pressure ang mga schools na papasukin ang mga ito, na baguhin ang mga existing na kasunduan at makapasok yung mga pulis at military sa mga campuses," she said.
(We saw that the real agenda was to pressure these schools to change existing agreements and let the police and military enter campuses.)
Dela Rosa, during the hearing, said the supposed recruitment activities of leftist groups in colleges and universities should prompt better coordination between school authorities and security officials.
"Kung beyond your control ‘yung outside of your premises, sana within your control ang inside ng premises," Dela Rosa said.
(If you don’t have control over things outside your premises, at least have control inside your premises.)
“MPD (Manila Police District), dapat dagdagan niyo ang patrol sa loob para mabubulabog ang nagre-recruit sa loob,” added the former national police chief, referring to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
(To the MPD, you should increase your patrols inside to thwart recruiters.)
PUP president Emmanuel De Guzman said police presence within the campus might trigger protests and prompt more students to join the leftist movement.
Elago also dubbed as "fake news" the alleged disappearance of student recruited by Kabataan's ally, militant youth group Anakbayan.
She urged Dela Rosa, chairperson of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, to instead investigate the deaths under the anti-narcotics drive that he had led as police chief.
- Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News