CPP recruitment in schools ‘not a cause of worry’: Palace

By Azer Parrocha

October 4, 2018, 8:36 pm

MANILA -- Malacañang on Thursday allayed fears that the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) statement that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is allegedly recruiting students, is a cause for concern.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said he was “hardly” surprised, saying the communist rebels are bound to recruit students.

“That’s intelligence report of the AFP. That’s their job. And quite frankly, if you ask me, it hardly surprises me because of course, the CPP-NPA (New People’s Army) will try to recruit students,” he said.

Roque, however, said he assumed that none of the schools would openly endorse such a recruitment but in a “secret manner.”

“But let’s face it, they are recruiting. It’s not a cause of worry, it’s just a statement of fact, but we have no doubt that none of the schools (is) openly supportive of such initiatives,” he said.

Roque also denied that there is an effort to curtail academic freedom of expression, noting that President Rodrigo Duterte himself has a high tolerance for such practice.

Meanwhile, he called the CPP-NPA as “too ambitious” on their efforts to overthrow the government, urging the group to “dream on.”

On Wednesday, AFP deputy chief-of-staff for operations, Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. identified 18 schools in Metro Manila where the CPP is allegedly recruiting members for its ouster plot against the government.

Parlade identified the schools as the 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; San Beda College; Lyceum of the Philippines; University of Makati; Caloocan City College (now University of Caloocan); University of Manila; and the Philippine Normal University.

Malacañang earlier said the country’s communist movement is forcing the President to declare martial law nationwide.

AFP Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez Jr., in a Senate hearing on Tuesday, claimed that the communists are planning to remove Duterte from office through the “Red October” ouster plot. (PNA)