IP youth group to PNP chief: Our teachers were full-time NPA members
Members of the Indigenous People Youth (IP Youth) told Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde on Wednesday that their alternative schooling system teachers are members of the New People’s Army (NPA).
“Ang maestro namin, full-time NPA. ‘Yong library namin, mababasa mo sa libro, paano ‘yong mga kasaysayan ng NPA, mga picture ni Ka Parago,” a male Lumad, around his late 20s, said during talks inside the PNP Headquarters at Camp Crame.
(Our teacher is a full-time NPA. Our library has books on the history of the NPA and pictures of Ka Parago).
“Tinuturuan kami pa’no mag-rally, pa’no makipaglaban, para hindi maka-pasok ang mga project ng gobyerno,” he added.
(We were taught how to participate in rallies, how to fight, how to block government projects).
He was referring to slain NPA leader Commander Leoncio Pitao, known as “Ka Parago.” Pitao, who was close to President Rodrigo Duterte back when he was still mayor of Davao City, was killed after an encounter with the military in June 2015.
After revealing the circumstances of their supposed indoctrination and recruitment, the male Lumad then sang a supposed “new version” of the national anthem allegedly composed by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to replace the present national anthem following an overthrow of the government.
Meanwhile, a female IP Youth member also clarified that they were not part of any protests in Manila, where other Lumads have reportedly joined.
“Gusto ko lang pong linawin sir na hindi kami ‘yon, kasi 110 percent po na sumusuporta kami sa aming Presidente, mahal namin si President Rodrigo Duterte,” she told Albayalde.
(We want to make it clear that we have not joined any protests. We are supporting the President 110 percent. We love President Rodrigo Duterte).
According to Albayalde, the PNP is always ready to assist Lumads saying there is no minority or majority in issues such as the alleged abuses being committed by communist rebels.
“Bibigyan ng justice ang pang-aabuso sa inyo, bukas po para sa inyo ang PNP at lahat ng estasyon sa buong bansa,” he said.
(We will help give you justice. The PNP and all its stations across the country are open for you).
Authorities have long accused NPA members of indoctrinating Lumads by allegedly teaching them the communist ideology. Recently, the NPA has been implicated in the Red October plot, a supposed plan to unseat Duterte.
In a budget hearing at the House of Representatives in August, lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc questioned Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief General Carlito Galvez Jr. regarding an Army commander’s move to destroy schools for Lumads that are allegedly being influenced by the NPA.
Galvez defended the military official, saying that there is nothing wrong with government forces trying to bring peace for Lumads in the area. /muf
READ: AFP chief defends Army commander in controversial video
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