House sets probe of PNP’s campus tours
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives is seeking an investigation into the dialogues, lectures and seminars being waged by the Philippine National Police in various high schools nationwide, which is purportedly being used to “demonize” critics of the Duterte administration.
House Resolution 737, filed by Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro, seeks to assess the legality of the PNP’s Kabataan Kontra Droga at Terorismo (KKDAT), as this supposedly violates the “safe schools principle” of the Department of Education.
Citing reports from teachers and students, Castro said the KKDAT seminars follow the policies laid out by Executive Order No. 70, or the “whole-of-nation approach” which supposedly formed the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC).
According to Castro, the PNP program violates DepEd’s National Policy Framework on Learners and Schools as Zones of Peace, and its Child Protection Policy that reiterates the declaration of schools as “zones of peace.”
“This means police and military are not allowed to enter the premises of the schools,” she said.
The ACT Teachers lawmaker said the PNP seminars contain “vilification, Red-tagging and terror-tagging of progressive personalities and groups, which supposedly target elementary and high school students.”
“These lectures of the PNP brainwash children and the youth into thinking that activities protected by free speech such as voicing out dissent and critiques to the anti-people policies of the government is wrong and illegal, discouraging them to practice critical thinking,” she said.
Castro said the PNP had been using the KKDAT program to enter public schools purportedly to spread black propaganda against progressives and the opposition, and urge the youth to function as spies for the PNP.
“KKDAT activities pose actual threats to the security and peace of the learners because of the presence of police inside their school premises. Their mere presence subjects children to various psychological stresses whether they are in uniform or not whether they are armed or not,” she said.
According to the lawmaker, through the KKDAT, the PNP aims to use schoolchildren as spies in eradicating illegal drugs.
“Children go to school to learn basic skills and their lessons in their subject. It is not their job or their responsibility to become spies for the PNP,” she said.
The PNP, however, dismissed the allegations, saying the
KKDAT program is the PNP’s “response to the national call to action against the twin scourge of illegal drugs and terrorism.”
According to Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson, the program aims to “sustain the gains of the anti-illegal drugs campaign through mobilization of the youth and student sectors.”
“KKDAT intends to organize, train, and mobilize the youth and student sectors as advocacy support groups that will stand against illegal drugs and terrorism,” he said.