/ 2 March 2021

A TEACHER at the Lumad Bakwit School who was arrested in an alleged rescue operation of Lumads was taken away from her holding cell by authorities without informing her legal counsel and family, Save our Schools Network said.

On Sunday, February 28, a paralegal team from the SOSN visited Roshelle Porcadilla who was detained at the Cebu City Police Office but were told by police that she had been moved to the Police Regional Office-7.

Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago reported that Porcadilla was brought to Camp Sergio Osmeña Sr., the PRO-7 headquarters in Cebu City, upon the order of Philippine National Police chief Gen. Debold Sinas.

“We were told that PNP chief Sinas sent for her. Not even her lawyers and friends were informed. We came here to ensure her safety,” Elago said.

However, PCol. Robert Limbawan, PRO-7 Regional Intelligence Division chief, denied allegations that Porcadilla had previously been moved.

The SOSN said that Porcadilla was detained separately from the other six arrested at the holding facility.

“In the days leading up to her transfer, she was also kept from receiving visitors by the police guarding her with “heightened police presence around her holding area,” the group said.

“Personnel of the Cebu City Police Station also denied accountability over where the teacher-volunteer would be brought because, they said, they were only designated as a holding area,” it added.

On February 15, Members of the PRO-7 and personnel of the Department of Social Welfare and Development conducted a rescue operation at the University of San Carlos-Talamban campus retreat house, where the Lumad students have been staying since March 2020.

The police took into custody three adult Lumad students, two volunteer teachers and two community elders because it said that “Lumad children were being indoctrinated to be child warriors and made to undergo warfare training.”

Porcadilla is among seven people who are facing complaints of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, and violation of anti-child abuse law, and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.