Satur Ocampo's group arrested in Davao del Norte town

Hernel Tocmo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 29 2018 12:58 PM | Updated as of Nov 29 2018 11:02 PM

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TALAINGOD, Davao del Norte (2nd UPDATE) - Police arrested the group of activist Satur Ocampo here Wednesday night on suspicion of human trafficking, a spokesperson said Thursday.

Ocampo, ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro, and 15 others were stopped at a a police checkpoint at around 10 p.m. after they were found carrying 14 minors who are reportedly students of Salugpungan School.

The group failed to present documents of parental consent for the minors, said Senior Inspector Alarene Fulache, chief of the Women and Children's Protection Desk of Davao del Norte Provincial Police.

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Philippine National Police spokesperson, Chief Supt. Benigno Durana said Ocampo and his group have been arrested and detained. 

Police are also preparing charges of abduction and human trafficking, Durana added.

"They've been arrested and detained pending the formal filing of charges against them," Durana told ANC Thursday afternoon.

"Criminal cases will be filed against Satur Ocampo and company," he added.

Durana added that parents have been looking for the supposedly missing minors.

The ACT Teachers party-list meanwhile explained that they were simply conducting a "National Solidarity Mission" to deliver school supplies and food to the community.

The mission was in lieu of the reported harassment being experienced by locals in the town.

"As of press time, about 15 to 20 members of Alamara are still harassing the students, teachers and locals. With their lives at risk, students and teachers are currently evacuating and a rescue mission is being conducted," the party-list said in a statement Thursday.

As of posting, Ocampo's group has been charged with violation of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act in relation to the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, kidnapping and failure to return minor.

The fiscal has set a bail of P80,000 for each member of the group.

The minors have been turned over to the social welfare department for counseling and debriefing. --With reports from Madonna Timbal-Senajon, ABS-CBN News

Activist Satur Ocampo is seen at the Talaingud Police Station on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. ABS-CBN News