Davao court orders DSWD to return 12 lumad kids to parents

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The Davao City Regional Trial Court (RTC) has ordered the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office to return to their parents 12 of the 14 lumad children taken into custody following the arrest of the group of former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo.

In a recent order, Branch 8 Judge Glenn DC. Aquino said the DSWD regional office had “no authority or lawful basis to retain the children in its custody, let alone, to deprive the petitioners, who are the parents or lawful guardians of such children, of their custody and care.”

The order arose from the petition for the writ of habeas corpus filed on December 3 by the parents and guardians of the minors taken by the DSWD.

Ironically, these were the minors whom authorities claimed were trafficked and kidnapped by Ocampo, ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro and 17 others, who were delivering food and school supplies to a lumad community in Talaingod, Davao del Norte, that had been subjected to a food blockade by the military.

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