Mother of missing activist says Elago deceives students
By Marita Moaje / Philippine News Agency
(Erratum: An Oct. 1 Twitter post of PNA on the filing of cases by former CPP-NPA cadres before the Department of Justice against CPP founder Jose Maria Sison and Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago erroneously identified the latter as an Anakbayan party-list representative. A correction has been posted. We apologize for the error. — The Editors)
MANILA – The distraught mother of a student-activist who was recruited by a group affiliated with the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) on Friday sought an end to youth recruitment by terrorist organizations.
Luisa Espina’s daughter, Louvaine Erika, was a 16-year-old student of Polytechnic University of the Philippines when recruited by the militant Anakbayan in 2016.
Two years later, Louvaine Erika joined the NPA and her mother has not seen her since.
Espina gets strength from the testimonies of former CPP-NPA cadres who said they met her daughter.
She said her daughter’s plight showed Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago is lying whenever she claims that they are simple activists, along with members of their affiliates Anakbayan, Bayan Muna, League of Filipino Students, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, and Gabriela, among others.
Espina, a member of Hands Off Our Children, joined the filing of complaints before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against CPP founder Jose Maria Sison, Elago, and other members of their front organizations for violation of the anti-trafficking and child abuse laws.
“Sinabi ni Sarah Elago na simpleng aktibista lamang ang nire-recruit nila ngunit hindi po ito totoo. Ito po ‘yung patotoo. Harapin nyo, sagutin nyo lahat ng hinain naming dito sa DOJ. Sagutin nyo lahat kung ano yung nangyari sa anak ko. Sagutin nyo lahat ng kaso na to na hinain namin (Sarah Elago previously said they only recruit youths to be simple activists. This is not true. Face and answer our charges here before the DOJ. Tell me what happened to my daughter),” Espina challenged Elago.
She said legal front organizations turn students into activists and send them to the mountains to take up arms.
“Ngayon nyo sagutin, ngayon nyo sabihin na hindi kayo nagpapaakyat ng kabataan sa armadong pakikibaka. Ngayon nyo sagutin sa korte (Answer us now, tell us now that you do not let these youths join the armed struggle. Now is the time to answer our charges in court),” she said.
Espina said it is time that communist terrorist groups are stopped from destroying children’s future and families.
“Enough with exploiting the youth. Let us stop this,” she said.
The Philippines' Anti-Terrorism Council has designated the CPP, NPA, and National Democratic Front as terrorist groups.
The European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand have also listed the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization. (PNA)