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PNP monitors school orgs amid alleged leftist recruitment

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said it is monitoring some school organizations amid the alleged recruitment of the communist rebels among the students in some state colleges and universities.

In Mariz Umali's report on State of the Nation with Jessica Soho, a former rebel who surrendered to the government said that young people from some state universities were being persuaded by leftist groups to join the armed struggle.

"Ang mga estudyante po na sinasabi ng mga nag-aaral sa UP, parang nakikipamuhay rin po sila sa amin. Nagtatanong kung maginhawa po ba yung aming ginagawa o mahirap. Pagkatapos nun, bumababa na rin po sila (mula sa bundok) kinabukasan," said the rebel whose face was covered when he was presented by the police at a press conference.

The students were allegedly recruited to serve as lookouts in the communities near the Reds' upland strongholds.

"Merong nagpapa-recruit sa kanila, mga intel po nila. Pinapupuntahan po sa mga bahay nila, hihikayatin sila. Kumbaga sa dalaga, liligawan sila. Hanggang sa tumagal, makukuha ang loob," he said. "Kapag hindi po pumayag 'yung (estudyante), dun na dadaanin sa dahas."'

Chief Superintendent Edward Carranza, director of the CALABARZON police, confirmed that they have monitored a similar incident in Laguna wherein students from some state universities immerse in a mountainous area in the town of Kalayaan.

"Meron po tayong project na bantayan nga itong mga eskwelahan at meron pong mga grupo, front organization ng kaliwa, upang mahikayat ang mga estudyante na sumama," Carranza said.

The PNP said it is coordinating with the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education regarding the said move October 2018.

The League of Filipino Students (LFS) for its part, described the PNP's action as a "frantic attempt to threaten the ever-growing youth movement" to pacify resistance against the Duterte administration.

"Instead of directly addressing the Filipino youth's demand for their rights and needs, the government's police and military perpetuate a culture of fear and violence in schools and communities," the LFS said in a statement.

The National Youth Commission, on the other hand, urged the Sangguniang Kabataan youth leaders to report any leftist youth movement in their communities.

Recently, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) claimed that the police had also been profiling their members by approaching school officials and asking for a list of names.

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde previously said he did not order such surveillance but said that in any case, it should not worry the ACT members if they aren't really doing anything illegal.

"As far as I'm concerned, wala akong pinirmahang ganyan," he said. "I will look into this, but as far as I'm concerned wala akong pinirmahang ganyan," he said. — Dona Magsino/BAP, GMA News