CPP tells Bato, Albayalde: Country would be worse without student activism
MANILA, Philippines – The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has insisted that the Philippines would be in a far worse situation without student activism, amid claims that progressive groups kidnap and brainwash university students.
CPP was reacting to assertions by former Philippine National Police chief and now Senator Ronald dela Rosa and incumbent chief General Oscar Albayalde that left-leaning groups supposedly posing as legal fronts of the communist movements are plucking minors away from schools.
“Student activism and radicalism is a force for change, progress, social justice and democracy […] Without student activism, as well as activism among workers, peasants and other sectors, the Filipino people would be in a far worse situation than they are now,” CPP said in a statement on Friday.
“The toiling masses would be experiencing even worse oppression and exploitation,” it added.
According to the communist group, certain victories in the history of the Philippines were achieved with the help of student activists.
“Student activists of the national democratic movement were among the most resilient in the fight against the Marcos dictatorship in the darkest days of martial law,” CPP explained.
“They were among the prime movers in the uprising against the corrupt Estrada regime. They have consistently fought for the interests of the Filipino people despite the threats to life under the Duterte regime,” they added.
Alleged recruitment of students to the New People’s Army (NPA) was discussed after parents of children claimed in a Senate hearing that parents were forcibly taken and coerced into fighting against state forces.
Dela Rosa, in particular, has called for an investigation into the issue while Albayalde asked the groups to explain and answer these allegations.
During the Senate hearing, one of the parents was unable to control her tears as she spoke of her daughter’s decision to leave their home. According to Relissa Lucena, her child Alicia Lucena even branded them as “enemies” after informing authorities of her participation in militant organization Anakbayan.
However, Alicia insisted that she left home for personal reasons, and that her decision to join Anakbayan was voluntary.
According to CPP, Dela Rosa’s strategy to present parents of alleged activists backfired, especially when Alicia showed that she is not being controlled.
“Dela Rosa’s anti-activist attack, however, has backfired, as the so-called missing students have revealed themselves as highly intellectual, articulate and mature individuals as opposed to his caricature of activist ‘brainwashing’, CPP said.
“Dela Rosa has succeeded only in making himself look foolish,” it added.