Army intensifies information drive vs. NPA campus recruitment in Agusan

Three thousand students of Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology (ASSCAT) have undergone “immunization” after the Philippine Armys 401st Infantry Unite N Fight Brigade (401Bde) recently conducted Information and Education Campaign (IEC) about the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) deceptions and campus recruitment scheme, at the ASSCAT main campus on August 18, 2019.

In partnership with the ASSCAT Office of Student Affairs and 1502nd Community Defense Center, 15th Caraga Regional Community Defense Center Group (15RCDG), Army Reserve Command, the 401Bde facilitated the information drive to incoming freshmen students during the National Service Training Program (NSTP) General Orientation and Registration, as part of the school’s curriculum.

During the program, Captain Aldim Viernes, 401Bde Civil-Military Operations Officer, with Subject Matter Experts from the Army, discussed the CPP-NAP-NDF Campus student infiltration scheme. He gave emphasis on the step by step processes by which any student could be unknowingly deceived by the left-leaning school organizations such as League of the Filipino Students (LFS), Anakbayan and Kabataan.

Cpt. Viernes said the students will eventually be radicalized and recruited as regular members of the New People’s Army, the CPP armed wing.

Glene Nala, ASSCAT director of the Office of Student Affairs, highlighted the present threats to all students brought by the CPP-NPA-NDF-affiliated organizations inside other school campuses. “What the Army has presented to us are the present and real danger confronting all of us. There was no such thing as life in those organizations but there’s certainly death. There will be no freedom when you join them,” Nala said.

Nala further emphasized the government programs and efforts which aim to benefit the students to enjoy their right to free education. “Our loyalty should be to the government and our government is trying to afford us our rights, life, liberty and property. The first thing you need is to finish your studies, and our government is trying to provide us with that one. All of you here are beneficiaries of free education and many are 4Ps beneficiaries, and these are but some of the government efforts for us to fully enjoy our rights, so please waste these,” Nala said.

Cheche, A former youth rebel from Loreto, Agusan del Sur, who surrendered in 2018, shared her experiences being an insurgent for three years, how she was recruited by the communist group until she decided to surrender.

Cheche warned the students not to join and be involved in any left-leaning school organizations that recruit student members to conduct mass actions, rallies and immersions in the countryside.

“Ayaw mo pag-apil apil anang mga organisasyon kay mangamatay ra mo diha. Daghan ng inyong nakita sa video nga gipangrekrut sa sulod sa eskwelahan, pero kadaghanan nangamatay lamang sa engkwentro sa lasang. Wala moy kaugmaon sulod sa NPA, mao tong hinungdan nga nag surrender ko,” (Do not join any organizations because you will die there. Many of you saw the video that was recruited inside the school, but most died in the forest encounter. You have no future within the NPA, which is why I surrendered,) Cheche said.

One of the Student Council members said: “We are happy that we heard a very inspiring message from a former rebel, which enlightened us about the activities of the CNN. I realized that no matter how difficult my life is being a student, I will never ever join in those terrorist organizations. A better life is always with the government side.”

The intensified IEC about the CPP-NPA-NDF campus infiltration and youth recruitment is part of the Information Operations efforts of the Peace, Law Enforcement and Development Support (PLEDS) Cluster under its Action Plan, as mandated in the localized implementation of Executive Order 70 in the Province of Agusan del Sur.

Colonel Allan Hambala, 401st Infantry Brigade Commander sad: “As the national government started its investigation on the recruitment of students from different universities and colleges nationwide by the terrorist CPP-NPA front organizations such as LFS and Anakbayan, we, in the PLEDS Cluster in Caraga region also intensified our conduct of IEC about CNN campus infiltration and recruitment here in the province, to inform our students and make them aware of the danger of terrorists’ deceptions and propaganda. Prevention is always better than cure that is why we conducted this activity to protect and enlighten our youths against the CNN tactics.”

The half-day program also discussed Gender and Development Orientation, NSTP Component Orientations on CWTS and ROTC, Students Registration and Army Recruitment Process.

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