Groups call on CPP-NPA to end attacks, recruitment of youth
Anti-communist groups and other civil society organizations on Thursday called on the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and its allies to end their atrocities and stop the recruitment of youth.
Members of the League of Parents in the Philippines (LPP), Liga Independencia Pilipinas (LIPI), and Hands Off Our Children, and mothers of students who were reportedly recruited by various militant groups, gathered at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman and in Timog Circle in Quezon City, as they protested the attacks by communist terrorist groups.
LPP chair Remy Rosadio said communist rebels should be held liable for their lawlessness.
While these groups claim to be “pro-people and pro-marginalized”, Rosadio said these groups and their allied organizations should not be emulated.
“They’re are destroying our children, they are destroying our country, for them, no government is doing its job because they wanted to take the lead. Leading to what? To the insurgency, to killing innocents and recruiting youth to bring to the mountains,” Rosadio said.
Rosadio urged the communist groups to stay away from engaging vulnerable youth to join their cause.
“Stop your propaganda. Stop deceptions. Stop the lies. Stop recruiting minors,” she said, noting that each child deserves a peaceful life.
Recruitment of youth
LPP spokesperson Arlene Escalante said the recruitment of minors has continued despite the coronavirus outbreak.
“It may not be face-to-face recruitment, they have been very active in recruiting our youth through online, through social media. We have received some reports from various universities and places all over the country that they are still engaging our youth to join the front-organizations and their progressive movements,” Escalante said.
“That’s the reality, it may be during the pandemic or not, the CPP-NPA-NDF is very active in their recruitment,” she added.
Escalante, meanwhile, defended members of advocacy group “Hands Off Our Children” who denounced the atrocities by the NPA via Facebook.
“They are not making up stories about their missing children who were reportedly recruited by the militant organizations,” she said.
Escalante said members of the group are only expressing their thoughts and are not inventing stories to get attention.
“We, from the League of Parents of the Philippines, are helping the parents who are members of the Hand Off Our Children to express their sentiments, grievance and appeal to the government to help them fight for their missing children,” Escalante said.
The Hands Off Our Children page was among those hit by Facebook’s recent move to suspend and shut down several pages for violating its policy against coordinated inauthentic behavior (CIB).
“We hope Facebook brings back their page, as it is their only platform to express themselves and their call about their missing children,” Escalante said.
Escalante appealed to the CPP-NPA and its allied organizations to stop exploiting minors.
Put a stop to insurgency
Meanwhile, LIPI secretary-general Jose Goita said the more than 50 years of communist armed conflict must end now.
“We must stand up and put a stop to this useless, pointless, deceptive, criminal and terroristic insurgency that has no purpose but to destroy our country by destroying our families,” he said.
Goita appealed to lawmakers to craft a law protecting the youth against “insurgency recruitment.”
“The youth are a special-protected class under the constitution. We have laws addressing delinquency and other abuses against children, but only a few, if there’s any, are addressing situations of their recruitment into the insurgency,” Goita said.
Goita said the CPP-NPA is no longer a revolutionary group, but employs “money-making” schemes, making them a “criminal enterprise.”
“Because they murder, they illegally extort money through illegal means like revolutionary taxation,” he said.
“They manipulate our children which is child abuse, their drug dealings, the kidnapping of government officials and civilians and even the documented raping of new recruits,” Goita said.
The anti-communist groups have conducted simultaneous candle-lighting vigils since Wednesday.
The CPP-NPA-NDF is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. — Source:/(PNA)