The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dismissed the criminal complaint against National Democratic Front (NDF) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison and 11 others including current and former legislators over allegations of recruiting Alicia Lucena as a youth member of communist rebels.
“In this joint complaint, the undersigned investigating prosecutors find no sufficient ground to continue with the investigation for failure of the complainants to show in their evidence the presence of the elements of the crimes by which they are charging the respondents,” read the 12-page resolution of the DOJ dated Oct. 15.
Aside from Sison, the respondents cleared from the complaint are Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago and former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, former Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin, Anakbayan national president Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan secretary general Einstein Recedes, Anakbayan spokesman Alex Danday, Anakbayan liaison officer Al Omaga, Bianca Marie Gacos, Chary Del Rosario, Rinoa Duero, and Jay Roven Balais.
The complainant was filed by Alicia’s mother, Lucena, and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit-Major Crimes Investigation Unit (CIDG-MCIU).
In the complaint, the complainants accused the respondents of kidnapping and failure to return a minor under Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and in violation of Section 4(c) 24(ii) and (iii) of Republic Act 9851, also kniown as the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity.
Rellisa alleged that her daughter was still a minor when she got recruited by Anakbayan in 2018 and suddenly ran away from home in 2019 for the group.
“While it may be true that Alicia was still a minor when she left her home and joined ANAKBAYAN on February 3, 2019, the complainants failed to show that the respondents were entrusted with the custody of Alicia and that they deliberately failed to restore/return her to her home,” the DOJ ruled.
“On the contrary, the affidavit of private complainant and the handwritten letter of Alicia to her parents show that even when Alicia joined the organization ANAKBAYAN, there were instances that she returned home,” it pointed out.
The DOJ also pointed out that in Alicia’s letter “there was neither any mention of her being recruited nor her involvement with ANAKBAYAN” and “nothing in the said letter that mentions the CPP-NPA-NDF or anything that would indicate Alicia’s intention to join the said group.
It observed that the letter “merely contains, among others, the predicaments, disappointments and bad experiences of Alicia with her parents from a young age, and her plan to leave them after she entered college.”