CHR hits AFP’s ‘blanket act of red-tagging’ universities
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) “is alarmed” with the list of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) labeling 18 universities as recruitment grounds for communists and linking them in the so-called “Red October” plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
The CHR said the AFP releasing such a list “endangers students and the youth.”
Earlier, the AFP named 18 Metro Manila universities where the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is allegedly recruiting and organizing students for the Red October plot.
“The Commission is alarmed by the release of the AFP of the list of universities allegedly involved in CPP recruitment,” CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement on Thursday.
“This blanket act of red-tagging endangers students and the youth and it may give the AFP a license to arbitrarily infringe the freedom of expression, the right to petition government, as well as to assembly,” she added.
De Guia noted that the information released by the AFP appears that it “has not been thoroughly validated” as she cited reports saying that based on the records of the Commission on Higher Education, “one of the listed schools does not exist.”
“More importantly, it bears stressing that film showings of Martial Law should not in any way be deemed as subversive,” she said.
She was referring to the claim of Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., assistant deputy chief of staff for operations of the AFP, that films about human rights abuses under dictator Ferdinand Marcos were being shown to students “to incite students to rebel against the government, incite resurgence of the First Quarter Storm (FQS) experience among students while projecting President Duterte as the new Marcos.”
“It is a part of our nation’s history and an established fact, the teaching of which is required by various laws and therefore, not illegal,” De Guia pointed out. /kga