FORT Ramon Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija -- Maj. Gen. Filemon T. Santos Jr., commanding general of the 7th Infantry “Kaugnay” Division based here, yesterday warned parents of the reported intensified covert recruitment of students that the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, New People’s Army, are currently conducting in schools and major universities, most especially in Metro Manila.
“It is not surprising that the youths are the target-recruits of communist terrorist groups (CTGs) as they are idealistic, vulnerable to radicalism and easy to train,” said Maj. Gen. Santos.
To prevent this, he said the 7ID strongly recommends the parents to be more vigilant in constantly knowing the activities of the school and the whereabouts of their children inside or even outside the campuses.
Santos aired the warning as the military recently bared a list of 18 Metro Manila schools where its students were allegedly recruited by the communist rebels for the supposed “Red October” plot to oust President Duterte.
Earlier, Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman, said that some of the schools included in the said list have been and widely known to have been used as fora for communist recruitment.
Lt. Col. Eugenio Julio C. Osias IV, chief of the 7th ID Public Affairs Office, said the NPA recruitment process normally starts with selecting student members who are smart, idealistic and passionate about a cause.
“They would then teach them about communism and indoctrinate them about activism and an invitation to join rallies comes next. And after they have proven their passion and courage in demonstrations and rallies, they will then be immersed in a community where they get their first exposure with the NPA, their armed group,” said Osias.
Osias cited three UP-Clark students -- John Paul Calica, Guiller Martin Cadano, and Gerald Salonga -- who were killed when the rebels clashed with government troops in separate encounters in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija and in Ma. Aurora, Aurora in September last year and this year.