MANILA – The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) said Thursday the “useless deaths” of youths recruited by the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) have to be stopped.

“The CPP-NPA-NDF could not care less how the families of these young people feel. The CPP-NPA-NDF does not care at all if these young people die,” NTF-ELCAC Spokesperson for Legal Affairs Flosemer Chris Gonzales said in a statement.
“The CPP-NPA-NDF is a godless, heartless, soulless, and ravenous monster who devours our nation's youth and waste precious lives in their pursuit of power. This has to stop. The useless deaths of our youth must stop.”

Gonzales said it is the collective moral obligation of the entire nation to protect the youth from the clutches of the CPP-NPA-NDF.

“How many more lives will be wasted by the CPP-NPA-NDF to satisfy their lust for power? For every child recruited by the CPP-NPA-NDF, a family has to bear the tragedy of seeing a loved one wasting his or her life for a lost cause that has lost all sense of meaning and of humanity,” he said.

Gonzales said to achieve the CPP-NPA-NDF’s goal of overthrowing the government through a revolutionary struggle, many brilliant and idealistic youths have been deceived into joining the communist terrorist group.

Unfortunately, he said, many of these young people, mostly students from the country’s state universities, meaninglessly lost their lives and were never seen again by their families.

“The CPP-NPA-NDF could not care less how the families of these young people feel. The CPP-NPA-NDF does not care at all if these young people die,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gonzales called out those who continuously downplay the reality of youth recruitment happening in different schools, colleges, and universities nationwide, as proven by former CPP-NPA-NDF cadres who testified that they were lured into joining the armed struggle through various legal front organizations during their university years.

He emphasized that recruitment is real and that it poses a “clear and present danger to our youth.”

On July 6, Nikka Ledesma dela Cruz, a journalism graduate of the University of San Jose Recoletos Cebu who previously worked in local media, was killed in an encounter in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental.

Before taking up arms to join the CPP-NPA-NDF, dela Cruz was recruited by Anakbayan and Kadamay in her college days.

In February, she left home and was later on confirmed to have joined the Central Negros Front of the CPP-NPA-NDF.

“The wasted life of Nikka, other students, and youth who were brainwashed, deceived, and killed in several encounters is enough and must be stopped at once. The recruiter and the organizations who brainwashed Nikka must take full responsibility for her death and be punished legally under existing law to give justice to Nikka's death,” the Regional Task Force ELCAC 6 (Western Visayas) said in a statement.

Gonzales reiterated the NTF-ELCAC’s commitment “to expose, unmask, and speak the truth so that the Filipino people will know the truth about the evils and atrocities committed by the CPP-NPA-NDF and how their allied front organizations sustain them in these dastardly acts.”

“We will not hesitate to call out any and all person or association that shall hinder, diminish, and undermine the gains of the NTF-ELCAC and the Filipino people in our collective desire to put an end to the CPP-NPA-NDF,” he added.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The NDF has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)