Group with Lumad minors temporarily held at Davao airport
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A group of passengers was temporarily held for questioning Saturday, September 16, after airport security raised a red flag as they were traveling with Lumad minors.
The 36 passengers, among them 20 minors, had to be transferred to a later flight departing from the Francisco Bangoy International Aiport.
"The Philippine National Police had to check their documents because many of them were minors," said Charo Lagamon, corporate communications director of Cebu Pacific, the airline of the passengers' flight.
Earlier, rights group Kabiba Alliance for Children's Concerns alerted reporters on the passengers' status, saying they were flying to Manila to attend a conference.
"They have secured permit to travel," Lindy Trenilla of Kabiba insisted.
Maria Luisa Bermudo, the city's head social worker, said it is the policy of the local governenment to keep an eye on ports against trafficking.
"And there are no exceptions, even if passengers are government officials," she said.
Lagamon said the passengers were supposed to fly on Cebu Pacific's 10:10 am flight, but since police arrived at around 9:46 am for questioning, the Lumad delegates were ordered to take the next flight at 12:50 pm.
"All charges were waived so they did not have to pay anything," she told Rappler.