The Philippine National Police plans to deploy policemen inside universities and colleges in Metro Manila to stem the recruitment of students by communist New People’s Army rebels.
Metropolitan police director Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the presence of policemen in campuses would deter potential NPA recruitment and thus ensure the safety and security of the students.
Eleazar bared his intention on Sunday following a Senate hearing where parents of some senior high school students testified how their children went missing after being recruited by left-leaning organizations.
Previously, the PNP planned to position policemen inside Metro Manila campuses, but university and college officials rebuffed the plan.
Eleazar said he believes that allowing police officers access to campuses would not disrupt or interfere in school activities.
During a Senate hearing, President Rodrigo Duterte’s former PNP chief Senator Ronald dela Rosa said about 513 minors allegedly recruited by the underground movement in the last 20 years have already been neutralized.
“This is alarming in the sense that these are minors who should be studying. Why are they cout on the streets? They are being brainwashed. Their brains are being poisoned by the leftists to fight the government. That’s very alarming,” he said in Filipino.
The PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group has filed a complaint against Anakbayan over the cases of a missing senior high school student, but the left-leaning group denied the allegations they were brainwashing students.
Instead, Anakbayan assailed the government, saying the revival of mandatory Reserve Officer’ Training Corps program would brainwash high school students.
In an interview with GMA News, however, former Bayan Muna party-list representative Teddy Casiño said students who joint left-leaning organizations do not automatically become NPA members.
Casiño said that while left-leaning organizations like Anakbayan recruit members, they do not do so for the NPA.
Casiño said the end goal of joining a left-leaning organization is to make members more involved and aware of national issues.
“Most of the Anakbayan members I know did not become NPA. Many of them, in fact, are part of the government now,” Casiño said.
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