Rebels hiding truth on Satur Ocampo arrest: Governor del Rosario

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DAVAO CITY (December 3) — Left-leaning organizations are reportedly hiding the truth on the arrest of former Bayan Muna lawmaker Satur Ocampo, said Davao del Norte Governor Anthony del Rosario.

In a statement released on Monday, December 3, del Rosario said the  leftist organizations are using the  indigenous people (IPs) “to push their own agenda,” and accused them of maneuvering the truth.

Del Rosario denied Ocampo’s allegations that the government-inspired  paramilitary group- Alamara,  forcibly closed the Salugpongan Ta’TanuIgkanogon Community Learning Center, Inc. (STTICLCI) in Dulyan, Palma Gil village, Talaingod, Davao del Norte.

In a statement, del Rosario stressed, “The so-called ‘right defenders’ exploited the issue to demonize the government and raise funds for their benefit.”

Satur Ocampo and his companions were charged Friday with kidnapping and human trafficking over the transport of minors in Davao del Norte, but were able to post bail Sunday night.

The closure of the Salugpungan school, according to del Rosaroi, was a mutual agreement between the local government and the tribal elders and leaders in Talaingod “Not the decision of teh para-military.”

He said it was closed because the school is being used by the leftist group to advance their ideological belief to push teh armed  struggle  and the children were taught how to dismantle firearms.

“We cannot allow a few cunning individuals to mar our development momentum in the Lumad municipality,” del Rosario said.

He also called on the leaders of the leftist group to  stop exploiting the Lumads and start working closely with the government instead.

“The incident revealed how the age-old conflict between the government and those who seek to overthrow it took its toll on our innocent and disadvantaged IP brothers and sisters,” he said.

“Time and again, we have proven that genuine pro-poor governance is the key to alleviating the lives of our Indigenous People,” he added.

Ocampo and 17 others, tagged as ‘Talaingod 18’, were arrested last Wednesday evening for violating Republic Act No. 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act of 2012 after allegedly holding 14 minors without parental consent and permit from the LGU.-NewsLine.ph with PNA report

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