BACOLOD City – A mother from La Carlota City, Negros Occidental thought her 12-year-old daughter was attending a dance practice for a cultural show after not being home for quite some time.
The 54-year-old Nilda Villamonte found herself on Saturday at the Bacolod police headquarters where her youngest child was being held.
Her daughter was among the 14 minors rounded up by authorities during a search operation at a compound in Barangay Bata on Thursday.
During the raid, police and military operatives seized firearms, ammunition and explosives.
The operation also led to the arrest of 40 persons with alleged links to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
“Wala ko ga-expect nga amo na ila ginahimo ‘ya. Abi ko gani may contest sila saut sa Bacolod ‘ya,” Villamonte said.
She added authorities were able to locate her on Saturday, and brought her here to confirm if her daughter, a seventh-grader and the youngest among three siblings, was among the detained minors.
Villamonte said her daughter went to Bacolod on Oct. 16 or 17.
“Bag-o ko lang ni siya gani nakita. Pila na kaadlaw wala kami kakit-aay. Kis-a gatawag ko sa cellphone niya,”she added.
Villamonte said last year, her daughter started joining the activities of the progressive groups upon the invitation of a relative.
“Kis-a isa ka semana, duha ka semana waay gapuli. Kung tawgan mo wala gasabat,” Villamonte added.
“Daw naglain na gid siya ya,” she said.
After reuniting with her child, Villamonte was thankful that those allegedly trying to influence her daughter were arrested, calling on them to stop recruiting minors to join their cause.
She also urged parents like her to protect their children from people trying to recruit them into the alleged rebel movement.
“Halungan niyo inyo mga bata nga indi na madala sang mga recruiter nga wala sang mayo nga hinimu-an. Tap-ana niyo na bi ang recruiter kay wala na pulos,” Villamonte said.(With a report from PNA/PN)