Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Cordillera and Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar 

BAGUIO CITY – Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Cordillera and Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar called on parents to condemn the recruitment of children into the communist movement.

In a statement on May 10, a copy of which was sent to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on May 15, Dar urged parents to reject the "recruitment of our children by the communists and their groups, and other criminal groups in advancing their causes against our will for our children to study, and spend their time in productive pursuits and causes."

“No one wants their children whom they have birthed and cared for to be taken advantage of and abused," Dar said.

He said Relisa Lucena and her husband courageously fought their way to get back their daughter, Alice Jasper, who was allegedly lured away from school and left home to join the armed rebellion.

The couple sought the court's mantle by filing a writ of habeas corpus and a writ of amparo to get her back.

The statement added that AJ went missing for a month since July 10, 2019 and was seen by her parents during a congressional hearing when she was presented by the Makabayan bloc.

"From her own account, and reported by the Philippine News Agency, Mrs. Lucena said that Alice Jasper, 16, was in Grade 11 and a consistent honor student at the Far Eastern University when she was recruited by Anakbayan in 2018. Mrs. Lucena almost lost her mind when her daughter left home on July 10, 2019," Dar said.

Mrs. Lucena saw her daughter in August 2019 when the Makabayan bloc had AJ interviewed by the media at the House of Representatives.

Dar, who started his professional career as a professor at the Benguet State University, was appointed as CORDS-CAR for being well versed about the region's conditions.

"Mrs. Lucena believes her daughter is a victim of a deceptive ideology and she fears for her daughter’s health and life," Dar said.

She was accompanied by her husband and members of the League of Parents of the Philippines and lawyer Ferdinand Topacio in asking the court's help to get back their daughter from Kabataan party-list Representative Sarah Elago and members and recruiters of Anakbayan.

Dar said that as parents, he and others in the same situation "empathize with the pain of a mother who is separated from her 17-year-old daughter was cunningly snatched away by people who took advantage of her idealism and charm for their personal and political gains."

He said AJ was "smart, responsible, and caring to her parents and friends but whose bright future, being shaped in school and the folds of her family was taken away when she was recruited by the NPAs."

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)