Students in immersion programs ‘forced’ to join NPA — police

Credit to Author: The Manila Times| Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2019 10:33:09 +0000

THE New People’s Army (NPA) are forcing students from state-run University of the Philippines (UP) and Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) who visit communities in the mountains as part of their immersion, according to police and rebel group members who surrendered to authorities on Monday.

Chief Supt. Edward Carranza, Calabarzon regional director, said the NPA rebels would later tell these students that they could not go back because they were now targets of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Calabarzon is Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon.

Carranza said 20 NPA members, including a minor, who surrendered to Sub Regional Military Area 4A in Kalayaan, Laguna on January 11 relayed this information to authorities as they were presented in the press briefing in Camp Crame.

The rebels also yielded one rifle, two shotguns, three homemade shotguns, four revolvers, one submachine gun, one rifle, one fragmentation grenade, one rifle grenade, and 442 ammunition.

A member who identified himself as Ka Ruben said these students were threatened by his comrades to join the communist rebel group.

“You will be scared if a gun is facing [you] so they just say yes to them,” he said.

He also said that those who surrendered didn’t see the goal of the communist group anymore.

PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde said there were dialogues between police and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Department of Education (DepEd) on how to prevent college students from joining the rebels.

“I think they were already informed and now [were] aware about what’s happening with their students. These students sometimes [would] get their minds poisoned so they will go to the mountains, have their immersion, and then be forced to stay there,” he said.

“This is not us talking but this comes from personal experience based on their (former communist rebels) interaction with the students,” Albayalde said.

The AFP in October released a list of 17 universities in Metro Manila where the communists were allegedly recruiting students to join their group.

These include UP, PUP, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, and the University of Santo Tomas. ROY NARRA


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