MYLES Albasin, the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu alumna who was arrested along with five others in Negros Oriental last week, is not a member of the New People's Army (NPA), her mother said Thursday, March 8.
"My daughter is not a member of the NPA...She was there (Mabinay, Negros Oriental) kay nag-immersion man siya (for an immersion). Duna man syay action," said the mother, Grace Albasin, a journalist.
She said Myles has been an activist since high school and had also done immersions in several areas in Cagayan de Oro.
"Ang iyang pagka-aktibista wala na nagsugod sa pagsugod sa UP. Dili bag-o ang immersion ana niya (She's an activist even before she entered UP. Immersions are not new to her). Sa Xavier (University), she also has political parties. My daughter is a student leader," she said.
Contrary to criticisms circulating on social media that Myles was taught by her parents to become radical, Grace said her daughter was exposed to the society and even her work as a journalist.
Grace is the former editor-in-chief of SunStar Cagayan de Oro.
"Nakit-an sa akong anak sa iyang pang-adlaw nga pagpakabuhi...Dili man lisod sabton ang kahimtang sa Pilipinas...Bisan sa bata pa sya, mangutana na sya nako nga 'Nganong ingon ani ang katilingban, Ma?' Naila sad sya sa iyang mga classmates nga duolanan sa tanan... She was exposed to my work," Grace said.
(My daughter saw the people's daily struggles. It is not difficult to understand the situation in the country. Even when she was a child, she asked me 'Mom, why is the society like this?' She's also the person her classmates and others turn to when it comes to problems... She was exposed to my work.)
She further defended her daughter's joining leftist groups, saying there's nothing wrong with it.
"Unsa man diay dautan ana? Wala man gyud. Wa may dautan ana. Wa man nag-adik-adik akong anak, wa pud naghubog-hubog. Naghatag ra sya ug nagpaila nga iyang pagkapraktikal makatabang niya pagka-journalist," she said.
(There's nothing wrong with it. My daughter is not using illegal drugs, also not a drunkard. She just showed her practicality, which will help her become a successful journalist someday.)
Myles is a Mass Communication graduate of UP Cebu, and her mom said she planned to study Law in June this year.
"Para nako, walay dautan nga akong anak nag-immerse sa bisan asa... We love our daughter, bisan unsa pa iyang tinuohan sa kinabuhi, kung unsa iyang barogan (For me, there's nothing wrong with going to an immersion anywhere...We love our daughter, despite her views and principles in life). She has her own life. We are only guides," she added.
She said she received a death threat after several “misinformation” circulated in social media about Myles.
“May the bullet find you, the message said. That’s what they are threatening student activists with and it’s much better if we counter it with accurate information,” Grace said.
Prof. Regletto Imbong, of the All UP Academic Employees Union, labelled as “pointless” the proposed dialogue of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Central Command with their faculty.
“It’s useless and we don’t need the military for us to be the best university,” Imbong said.
Centcom spokesperson, Col. Medel Aguilar, for his part, said they only wanted to help.
“If he (Imbong) can protect the students from the recruitment and exploitation of the CPP-NPA, probably he is right. We are only offering our help because we don’t want our young and bright students to be recruited by the armed group,” Aguilar said.
Jimmylisa Badayos, of Karapatan Cebu, said that based on their investigation in Negros, there was no encounter that happened during the arrest of Myles and her companions.
“The six were sleeping when at around 2 a.m., the house they were at were thrown with stones. The military then surrounded the house and asked them to surrender. When the six went out of the house, that’s the time the military fired but all the gunshots were on their side,” Badayos said.
Aguilar said they will let the cause-oriented group prove the claim.
“Let them prove that they know better than our troops who were there on the ground,” Aguilar said.
Myles and her five companions were arrested after an "armed encounter" in Mabinay town in Negros Oriental on March 3. They are facing charges for illegal possession of firearms and explosives, as well as for violation of Republic Act 7619, or "Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act."
The National Democratic Front-Negros, though, said in a statement Wednesday, March 7, that Myles and her companions are not members of the NPA and there was no encounter as claimed by the 62nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.
The NDF-Negros also said that the high-powered firearms that were allegedly recovered from the six young men and women were planted. (LMY/SunStar Philippines, JOB)