Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson (Photo from his Facebook account)
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) urged parents to monitor their children after a student from the University of the Philippines – Los Baños (UPLB) died last Thursday, allegedly in a clash between government troops and communist rebels.
“We therefore appeal to the parents, and to the school officials who should take full responsibility and custody over children while in schools under the doctrine of loco parentis [in place of parents], to guide their children/students,” Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson, said in a statement issued on Saturday.
“Please be mindful of your children’s/students’ whereabouts; be wary of the organizations they join; and be constantly vigilant of your children/and students,” he added.
According to reports, a New People’s Army (NPA) member was killed after a clash with government troops in Luisiana town in Laguna last Thursday.
The slain rebel turned out to be a UPLB undergraduate student, John Carlo Capistrano Alberto.
NPA rebel dead in clash with gov’t troops in Laguna
Slain NPA rebel in Laguna clash was UPLB student, say colleagues
According to Arevalo, Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr., AFP chief, denounced the NPA’s recruitment scheme as “deceitful,” as rebels would allegedly brainwash idealistic students to take up arms against the government.
“Another student has fallen prey to the deceitful scheme of the terrorist Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army. Under the guise of so-called immersion, idealistic young men and women — mostly students — were handed poisoned chalices by CPP-NPA cadres,” Madrigal said.
“After being initially led to the countryside allegedly to experience life with the people, these young men and women were constantly brain-washed about perceived social ills, their emotions aroused, until they are ripe for the terrorist movement. They were recruited, taught to wield arms, and eventually meet their untimely and unfortunate death fighting government security forces,” he added.
The spokesperson said the AFP extends its sympathy towards the family of the slain student.
“We commiserate with the unwitting parents of this student — and scores of others who suffered the safe fate — who perhaps never knew what misfortune befell them and the rosy dreams they have of and for their beloved children,” Arevalo said.
He also relayed Madrigal’s request to young people, especially students, to be careful in joining school organizations, which might be mere fronts of communist rebels.
“Time and again, he admonishes the youth — especially students and young professionals — to be very discerning about people who or groups that approach them. The CPP-NPA terrorists continue to lurk in our schools and communities spying for new recruits to fill the dwindling number of their cadres,” he relayed.
“Be on the lookout. Report the presence of these unscrupulous individuals to your AFP and allow us to save your children/students. They should not allow themselves to be misled by nice sweet-talking individuals who’ll lead them to perdition,” he added. /atm
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.