Año urges youth, IPs to shun Reds, protect freedom
MANILA, Philippines — As the country observes its 121st Independence Day on Wednesday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año , in his Independence Day message, urged the youth and Indigenous Peoples (IPs) to “protect [their] freedom and shun the recruitment of leftist enemies of the state who are behind the communist terrorism in the country.”
Año said that while the country has long been freed from colonial control, the threat posed by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed group, the New People’s Army (NPA) remains.
According to Año, communist rebels are out to deceive the youth and other vulnerable sectors to join them in “trampling on the country’s democracy and overthrowing duly-constituted authorities.”
“Independence does not only mean liberation from external or foreign manipulation. For the last 50 years, communist terrorist groups have been pounding on the democratic pillars and integrity of the Philippine State and have caused the death of countless innocent civilians and the promising youth,” Año said in a statement.
The Interior Secretary, who also formerly headed the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said that the country’s independence also means freedom from foreign harmful ideologies alien to the democratic living of Filipinos.
He noted that the communist ideology is a foreign imposition and was proven to be a failed system among countries that adopted it, and must be rejected outright by Filipinos.
He urged that no one should be “enslaved” and “blinded” by the CPP as well as its affiliate groups and individuals.
“They do not represent the Filipino masses. They are not your voice and are not your defender. They only conceal their ultimate goal of overthrowing the current democratic representative government to an authoritarian communist rule,” said Año.
He further explained that many young people have already lost a good future after joining the communist movement.
“Save yourself from that tragedy. Finish schooling and do volunteer works in your community. That means a lot to your families and in nation-building,” he said.
Año likewise encouraged the IPs to resist recruitment from rebels and report to authorities if they would encounter any harassment or intimidation. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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