Youth told to ditch NPA recruitment and get into sports, arts instead
MANILA, Philippines – Interior Secretary Eduardo Año condemned on Tuesday the New People’s Army (NPA) recruitment of minors and urged the youth to watch out for traps and lies laid out by the left-leaning rebels.
“Don’t fall into the deception and smooth talk of the communists. I tell you, it is a trap. They will sow hatred and lies into your heads so that you will become their vessel to unknowingly work to push their twisted ideology,” Año said in a statement.
Instead of joining the armed movement, Año said the youth should engage in recreational activities like sports and arts.
He said the youth is the priority target recruits of NPA since they are easy to manipulate and brainwash.
“The youth are a brave, curious and adventurous bunch. So the communists take advantage of these qualities along with their vulnerabilities to deceive, manipulate, and threaten them into becoming one of their own,” he said.
The DILG chief also cited a report of the United Nations (UN) which showed that 30 Filipino children were recruited by different local terrorist groups in 2017.
Of this number, six were recruited by the NPA.
Año said the Philippine Army’s 36th Infantry Battalion recently confirmed that the NPA is recruiting minors after a young combatant was killed in an encounter in Barangay Cancavan in Carmen, Surigao del Sur in May 19.
A 15-year-old fighter was also killed in a clash between the military and the NPA in Sitio Bayongon, Barangay Astorga in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur on April 21, 2018.
Two boys and a girl also died in another firefight in Compostela Valley on July 12, 2017.
“Spare our young people from your lies and deception. Huwag ninyong sirain ang kinabukasan nila. Huwag ninyo silang linlangin at idamay sa mga pakana ninyo para mag-aklas laban sa gobyerno,” Año told NPA.
(Spare our young people from your lies and deception. Don’t destroy their future. Don’t deceive them and have them join your move to rebel against the government.) (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
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