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PNP investigates University of San Carlos over ‘rescue’ of minors

The Philippine National Police was investigating the University of San Carlos in Cebu City following the "rescue" of 19 minors who were allegedly recruited by communist rebels and sheltered at the institution's retreat house.

"Actually we are conducting a separate investigation doon. I already tasked the Regional Director to coordinate with the DePed din dito kung something is amiss or some policies are broken but it's a separate investigation," PNP chief Police General Debold Sinas said in an interview in Cebu City.

"We already advised the RD (Regional Director) to finalize their investigation report and to communicate and write a letter to the DepEd para po mabigyan din ng kaukulang pag iimbestiga ito then kung ano man ang mangyari ay antayin na lang po natin 'yung resulta ng coordination sa investigation po natin," Sinas added.

According to the PNP, the rescued 19 minors belonged to the Manobo tribe.

However, the university explained that the minors were part of a 42-person delegation that participated in a modular schooling activity in March 2020.

They were supposed to return to their respective indigenous communities but the COVID-19 lockdowns prevented them from doing so.

Kidnapping, child exploitation, and human trafficking complaints were filed against seven people, including two datus, two teachers, and three adult lumad students.

Sinas previously said the rebels were recruiting minors to be trained as child warriors.

The complaints were filed despite questions surrounding the raid, which was also being looked into by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). — DVM, GMA News