UP, PUP students being forced to join NPA, says ex-rebels
MANILA, Philippines — Some students of the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Laguna are being forced to join the New People’s Army (NPA), rebel surrenderees said on Monday.
This revelation surfaced from testimonies of 20 former rebels who, according to police, surrendered to authorities on January 11 and 12 in the municipality of Kalayaan, Laguna.
Chief Supt. Edward Carranza, director of the Police Regional Office in Calabarzon, said the students originally visited the mountainous areas in Laguna as part of their immersion activities, but were later forced by the rebels to join the communist movement.
“Nag-iimmerse sila doon then later on the threat [from the NPA] is if they go back dito sa urban area, may threat na sinasabi ang grupo ng NPA na target na kayo ng military and PNP,” he said in a press briefing.
(They immerse in the area and then later on, the NPA threatens them that if they go back to the urban area, they will be the target of military and police operations.)
According to Carranza, the police have also encountered members of the NPA together with some university students in an operation in Batangas in the past.
A certain Ka Ruben, the leader of the group, also said the students were being forced to join the communist movement out of fear. Ka Ruben and other rebel surrenderees wore masks when the police presented them to the media.
“Dahil sa takot din, syempre kayo po, may baril yung kausap niyo, kayo po matatakot na rin pong umayaw. Oo na lang po ang sagot niyo,” he told reporters.
(Out of fear, of course if the one you’re speaking to has a gun, you will be afraid to say no. You will only say yes.) /je
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