More netizens express support in social media networks to parents whose children have been recruited by left-leaning groups on their campuses.
Jacqueline Mendoza told Philippine News Agency (PNA) on August 20, 2019, that she supports the advocacy against communist front groups through Facebook along with other parents who are concerned with New People’s Army recruitment in colloge and university campuses.
“Binago po namin ang aming profile picture o frame ng aming profile picture to Hands Off Our Children para po makita ng mga kabataan, maprotektahan ang mga kabataan (We changed our profile picture or the frame of our profile picture so the youth could see it, to protect the youth,” Mendoza said.
Meg Zevahc, another parent-supporter of the advocacy, said she can relate with the pain felt by parents who have children who are victims of the deceptive recruitment of Anakbayan, Kabataan and League of Filipino Students, alleged front organizations of the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
“Bilang isang guro, hindi ko maatim na makikita ang isa sa aking mga estudyante ay maging biktima rin. Kaya’t aking minarapat na ibahagi sa kanila ang aking nalalaman tungkol sa mga organisasyong ito at kung paano sila mag rerecruit at linlanganin ang mga kabataan (As a teacher, I can’t withstand to see that my students will become victims as well. So, I decided to share with them my knowledge about these organizations and their deceptive recruitment strategies),” Zevahc said.
Relissa Lucena, urged the parents on Facebook to use the ‘HANDS OFF OUR CHILDREN’ graphics as their profile pictures as a sign of support to the battle against communist front organizations.
“Upang maipakita natin ang galit at pag kokondena sa kanilang ginagawa sa bawat mahihirap na pamilyang Filipino. At maipamulat sa bawat magulang at kabataan na meron ganitong gawain sa loob ng eskwelahan (This is to show our wrath and condemnation of their deeds to every poor Filipino family. This is to enlighten every parent and youth that there are things like this happening in schools),” she said.
Lucena is the mother of 18-year old Alicia Jasper, who allegedly went missing after being recruited by militant group Anakbayan.
“Upang mapagpatibay narin natin ang ating mga relasyon sa ating mga anak na hindi sapat ang usap lang, kailangan natin kilalanin ang kanilang mga kaibigan nang sa ganun, makita natin ang kanilang pangunahing motibo sa pakikipag kaibigan sa ating mga anak. Mas lalo nating mahalin at unawain ang kalagayan ng ating kabataan. Makilahok at obligahin ang bawat eskwelahan sa kaligtasan ng ating mga anak (This is to strengthen our relationship with our children, which should not be limited to talks only. We also need to know who their friends are so that we can determine their real motives in befriending our children. Let us show our love and understanding of youth’s situation. Let’s participate and oblige each school to look after the safety of our children),” Jasper added.
Citing that left-leaning organizations have long been recruiting youth members in campuses, Col. Noel Vestuir, Executive Officer of Civil-Military Operations or OJ7 of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, advised the parents to know the friends and acquaintances their children make in schools because recruiters could use the smallest misunderstandings the students have with their family members to start a deep conversation.
“There are indications where the students are already being recruited by members of these groups. For example, they will approach them (students) as friends, then, later on, they will have discussions about the problems of the society, educational discussions and others,” Vestuir said.
Vestuir said students who are knowledgeable of legal issues are easier to invite to join rallies and youth organizations like Anakbayan, Kabataan and LFS.
“You cannot blame the kids, I personally believe that, because they have already been ‘groomed’, and for them, patriotism already means defending the poor, the disadvantaged. It will difficult to win back the youth who are at the peak of agitation,” Vestuir said.
“But, once they get into the group and become frustrated about the reality that the groups they have joined are unable to deliver what they promised, they will return to their families on their own,” Vestuir said.
While the military is committed to educate students against ‘deceptive recruitment’, Vestuir said “they can only do so much because of the militarization of schools concept,” where leftist groups have been using the issue of militarization in schools as propaganda to prevent information awareness campaigns.
“Education is the first step to ending agitation really, but because of the propaganda of militarization propagated in schools, we’re limited so we use social media to inform the youth about the truth about these groups and they won’t become victims,” Vestuir added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (Ma. Teresa Montemayor, PNA)