League of Parents of the Philippines and the Liga Independencia Pilipinas members protested against the alleged New People’s Army or NPA recruitment in front of the Senate building in Pasay City on Tuesday amid the ongoing investigation into the alleged red-tagging perpetrated by the military.
The parents’ groups claimed that the country’s student activists were being recruited to join the communist rebel group NPA.
Meanwhile, Makabayan Bloc members in the House of Representatives denied involvement with the Communist Party of the Philippines during the hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security.
Kabataan Party-list Representative Sarah Elago denied claims that her group recruits NPA members.
“Hindi ako NPA. Hindi ako NPA ‘recruiter.’ Hindi po bahagi o ‘front’ ng CPP ang Kabataan Party-list. Hindi NPA Recruiter ang Kabataan Party-list. Hindi rin ito nagre-recruit para maging NPA,” she said.
“Kung meron pong ilang naging NPA mula sa daan-daang libong naging miyembro ng Kabataan Party-list, sobrang illogical pong sabihin na nagre-recruit na ang organisasyon namin ng NPA,” she added.
Parents’ groups protest vs alleged NPA recruitment
Elago urged the government that instead of focusing on red-tagging, the government should solve the root causes of why some Filipinos are joining rebel groups.
“Mas mabuting pag-usapan natin at tugunan ang mga ugat at dahilan kung bakit hanggang ngayon ay mayroon tayong mga kababayan na nag-armas at lumalaban, kagaya ng karanasan sa MNLF, MILF at iba pang nagsusulong ng liberation movement sa bansa. Kailangan po nating pag-usapan at tugunan ang kanilang mga hinaing,” she said.
In September, General Gilbert Gapay, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) are among tertiary schools with NPA recruitment.
The government security forces have been exerting efforts to make their presence safe in universities and colleges to prevent NPA recruitment.
The military official said that aside from the students, their parents suffered the most because parents would only know that their children were already members of the NPA after their children got killed in the encounters.