AFP doesn't tag schools involved in CPP recruitment

By Priam Nepomuceno

October 4, 2018, 8:54 pm

MANILA --- As it released the names of Metro Manila schools where the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is allegedly holding its recruitment activities, the military on Thursday assured the public that its intention is not to brand these educational institutions as "communists".

"We wish to assuage the fear of our people about this recent development. In doing this, the AFP wants to create awareness among our people especially parents who were complaining and asking for our help," AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a media statement.

He clarified that some of the schools on the list are still subject to validation.

"Having said that, we are firm in our position that some of the schools on that list have been, and widely known to have been used, as fora for communist recruitment. Some of the other schools on the list are being targeted. The students are agitated initially towards activism; mobilize them as militants, and finally recruit them as regular NPA (New People's Army) cadres and leaders to fill up the dwindling number of political cadres," Arevalo said.

As of Oct. 3, the total number of NPA regulars and sympathizers neutralized by the military is 10,049.

This included some 939 NPA regulars who surrendered and 104 who died in armed engagements with the AFP, Arevalo added.

In a text message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Wednesday, AFP deputy chief-of-staff for operations, Brig. Gen Antonio Parlade Jr., identified the schools as University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman, UP-Manila; Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Sta. Mesa; Ateneo De Manila University; De La Salle University; University of Santo Tomas; Adamson University; Far Eastern University; University of the East (UE)-Recto; UE-Caloocan; Emilio Aguinaldo College; Eulogio "Amang" Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST); San Beda College; Lyceum of the Philippines; University of Makati; Caloocan City College (now the University of Caloocan City); University of Manila, and the Philippine Normal University.

"We have reports of concerned parents communicating to us their worries about the 'brainwashing' activities that their children were subjected to like films showing; video teleconferencing with a terrorist leader like Jose Ma. Sison; and Martial law reenactments during break time of high school students, etc," Arevalo said.

He said they are joining the multitude of parents wary of these creeping indoctrination of their children that tend to draw them into activism and radicalism.

"Beware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing. This we caution schools administration and parents about some members of the NPA infiltrating the schools," he added.

Arevalo said the AFP is reaching out to the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), and the administrators of some of the schools to prevent the "arouse-organize-mobilize" scheme of the CPP-NPA.

"Lest we forget, the AFP as an institution is the protector of constitutionally guaranteed rights of our people. We do not censure, but as a matter of fact guard and support freedom of speech, of assembly, and of redress of grievances. But such should be done in a manner peaceful and orderly, and with due respect to other people’s rights. Because the moment there is resort to violence, the AFP will be there to prevent lawlessness," Arevalo added. (PNA)