MANILA – Former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and the youth sector support the pullout of deceiving reading materials from state universities and colleges (SUCs).
During the “Tagged” online media briefing by the National Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict on Monday, lawyer Marlon Bosantog said such books advocate the overthrow and eradication of existing government structures for a new system of governance that is outside the preamble of the Philippine Constitution.
“There is no right that is being infringed upon when there is a pullout of these particular materials. Overall consideration as always will be national security and national welfare. As long as academic freedom does not infringe on national security, the pullout will always be justified,” he said.
Under the Revised Penal Code, Bosantog, the Cordillera Autonomous Region director of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples, said the NDF books are clear instruments of sedition and that universities can ban or remove the materials.
On September 2, Kalinga State University (KSU) pulled out from its library several handbooks that were given to them by the NDF of the Philippines (NDFP) in previous years in order to safeguard their students and the institution from communist infiltration.
KSU library officials said the books were sent to them even without a request.
On its social media page, KSU said the pullout is proof that the institution opposes the CPP-NPA-NDF ideologies.
“This decision was made by the school after the Government of the Philippines through the Anti-Terrorism Council previously declared the group as a terrorist organization in July 2021, following the declaration of the CPP-NPA as terror group in December. Thus, all items were pulled out from the book gallery of the school and voluntarily surrendered to the hands of the joint forces of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and PNP (Philippine National Police),” the KSU post read.
Bosantog, also the spokesperson of the Legal Affairs on Indigenous Peoples Concerns, said the materials pulled out from the KSU library serves as recruitment tools of the communist terrorist groups.
Among the handbooks were “Araling Aktibista” and the “PADEPA (Pambansang Demokrasyang Paaralan), MKLRP (Maikiing Kurso ng Lipunan at Reboiusyong Piiipino), ISKCON Para sa Kabataan”.
“They provide a clear and present danger for our students. In the issue of academic freedom, removing these materials from institutions is also an act of academic freedom, the right to teach, what to teach,” Bosantog said.
Daniel Castillo, former University of the Philippines-Diliman student and former NPA political instructor, also supported KSU’s move.
“Personally, I support the Kalinga State University in pulling out the NDFP handbooks in their library. Actually, I didn’t know that there were PADEPA materials and including MKLRP and ARAK (Araling Aktibista) and now that I know that I know that, I think it’s really a blatant attempt to radicalize the students in the state university,” Castillo said.
Another former NPA cadre, Joy James Saguino, said students and the youth can take a stand even without joining the CPP-NPA-NDF.
“We have to underscore the role of the CPP-NPA and the underground mass movement inside the schools, doon sa kanilang pagra-radicalize, pagtuturo ng mga advocacy and ideology na sumusuporta ng isang (with their radicalization, and teachings of advocacies and ideologies that support) violent, political agenda,” Saguino said.
Kim Soguilon, external vice president of the Supreme Student Council of the Philippines - National said KSU set a good example that must be emulated by other universities.
He also called on other student leaders to report the presence of the same reading materials.
“Tinatawagan ko rin iyong mga student councils, especially student leaders na alam naman natin. I mean, kung alam ninyo na may ganitong mga material sa loob ng university ninyo, habang maaga pa (I call on the student councils, student leaders, if you know that there are similar materials inside your campuses, this early), help the university administration to pull them out,” Soguilon said.
Bae Anna Jessa Mae Crisostomo, president of the Indigenous Peoples Youth Movement, said the Commission on Higher Education and SUC administrators have the right to regulate books placed in state universities or libraries.
“This had been the experience of our members who were victimized by false information and radicalization integrated in the curriculum of the so-called Lumads School or Salugpungan School, which was actually a center for the recruitment of the NPA and radicalization,” she said.
The Philippines' Anti-Terrorism Council has designated the CPP, NPA, and NDF as terrorist groups.
The European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines also listed the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization. (PNA)