Teen yet to talk about ordeal, says dad
MANILA (UPDATE) - There was "no sign of kidnapping" in the disappearance of a 17-year-old girl who was reported missing in Muntinlupa City Thursday and later found safe in Laguna province, police said Sunday.
Ica Policarpio, whose disappearance prompted her family to issue a nationwide appeal on social media, was last seen in a coffee shop in Muntinlupa City late Thursday. She was reunited with her family in San Pablo City, Laguna on Christmas eve.
"As of now, wala talagang signs of kidnapping, based on our investigation doon sa mga pangyayari (As of now, there are really no signs of kidnapping, based on our investigation)," Metro Manila Police Chief Oscar Albayalde said in a press conference.
"Ang tinitingnan lang natin dito kung may nag-udyok sa bata na maglayas or pumunta dito, pumunta doon (What we're looking at is if there was someone who persuaded the teen to run away or go here or there)," he added.
The teen apparently had a recent disagreement with her father Rufino Policarpio, but he said she had clarified that it had nothing to do with her disappearance.
"Napagsabihan ko siya about something. Pero na-settle namin iyun eh, so I know that was not an issue," he said in the same press conference. "Kanina, na-relieve ako kasi nginitian niya kami, sabi niya hindi [dahil doon]."
(I had scolded her about her something. But we settled that, so I know that was not an issue. Earlier, I was relieved because she smiled at us and said it was not about that.)
Ica, a "cheerful daughter and consistent honor student," has not mentioned any other personal problem and has yet to talk about her disappearance, her father added.
"Hindi po namin siya talaga kinakausap at pinapakuwento dahil we respect her privacy, we respect her state, kaniyang psychological condition," he said.
(We have not talked to her yet or asked her to talk because we respect her privacy, we respect her state, her psychological condition.)
"Masaya na ho kami na kasama namin siya pero ang totoo, since 2 hours ago, hindi ko pa siya talaga nakausap ng masinsinan. At sa bagay na ito, hinihiling lang namin ang kaunting pang-unawa, pasensya ng madla."
(We are just happy that she's with us now but the truth is, since 2 hours ago, I have not talked to her thoroughly. In this regard, we ask for some patience, understanding from the public.)
Officials of San Pablo City's Barangay 2-B, he said, found his daughter sitting and crying at a carinderia. They called a barangay council woman, who then invited the girl to her house before calling her parents about her whereabouts.
The father went on to thank social media users for their "show of unity and the Filipino bayanihan spirit," saying village officials would not have recognized his daughter if her picture had not been shared online.
Ica's sister Bea had posted appeals on Facebook seeking the public's help to find her.
Albayalde also thanked the public and said the teen should be given time to rest.
"Kailangan muna natin bigyan si Ica ng pagkakataong makapagpahinga... Pagod na pagod iyung bata."
(We need to give Ica a chance to rest. The child is exhausted.)