The Police Regional Office (PRO) in Davao Region on Wednesday rejected demands of the New People’s Army to withdraw the charges filed against militant groups involved in the safekeeping of lumads at UCCP Haran in exchange for the release of four tribal leaders kidnapped recently by the rebels.
In fact, PRO Davao is looking into filing additional kidnapping charges against the rebels.
“Hindi na namin iwi-withdraw yung case laban sa kanila kasi nasa korte na yung kaso. Actually fi-filan din natin sila (rebels) ng charges for kidnapping the four tribal leaders,” Senior Superintendent Aaron Aquino, PRO Davao deputy regional director for operations, told reporters during the AFP-PNP press forum at The Royal Mandaya Hotel Wednesday.
The four abducted tribal leaders were identified as Datu Danilo Angcomog, Datu Laris Landakay, Datu Jovanie Angcomog and Datu Kalumpot Dalon, all of them are tribal chieftains of Sitio Bulo, Barangay Dagohoy in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
They were abducted last August 1 in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
“May mga emergency meeting na magaganap between the inter-agencies,” Aquino said.
Aquino said the charges filed by the police against the militant groups are serious illegal detention, physical injuries following the incident at UCCP Haran in Davao City where the lumads were allegedly barred from going home to their communities that resulted to a commotion that hurt two cops and 10 lumads.
But Aquino also confirmed that the militant groups are also facing charges for violation of the Republic Act 7610, or the “The Special Protection For a Child Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act” after a 14 year-old girl was reportedly sick inside the Haran but was not allowed to leave.
Davao City Police Office (DCPO) spokesperson Senior Inspector Milgrace Driz said that the DCPO has no intention of withdrawing the case since most of the charges are now in court proceedings.
“We will not do that,” Aquino said referring to the demands of the abductors of the four tribal leaders.
Military operations are ongoing to rescue the four tribal leaders.
Colonel Eduardo B. Gubat, former spokesperson for the Eastern Mindanao Command, also denied at the same forum the allegations that the four missing tribal leaders were under military’s custody. (KRP)