A surrendered rebel claimed that several students from the University of the Philippines (UP) and Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) were recruited to join the New People’s Army (NPA), sometimes by using force.
In a media briefing, the rebel, who’s part of the twenty members of NPA surrendered to the government narrated on how the students from UP and PUP were being recruited by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to revolt.
“Ang mga estudyante na sinasabi nag-aaral sa UP, nakikipamuhay sila sa amin, nagtatanong kung maginhawa ‘yung aming ginagawa o mahirap,” Ka Ruben told the press.
According to him, some students were being sent in Barangay San Antonio, Kalayaan, Laguna to ask them about their current condition there. In exchange, the people there would tell their problems about the government and tried to convince them to join the rebel group.
If the student refused to join, they’re sometimes using force to convince them from not returning to the city and to their families.
“Dinadaan nila sa dahas para matakot ‘yung tao…ginagawa nila takutin hindi binabalik ‘yung ibang tao sa bayan,” he described.
Police Regional Director of CALABARZON C/Supt. Edward Carranza called the community visiting of the students as “immersing” and described it as a voluntary practice to visit poor communities located in remote areas.
“‘Yung word na ginagamit dito is ‘immersing’ whether they will stay there or what, pero it’s not within the curriculum. It’s voluntary on the part of the students and we have already historical data kung sino ‘yung mga member ng CPP who were former students in those universities,” he said.
He also bared the details on how the students being forced to join NPA.
“Nag-iimmerse sila doon then later on, the threat is if they go back dito sa urban area may threat na sinasabi ng NPA na target na kayo ng military,” Carranza said.
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde also said that ‘immersing’ is part of the recruiting tactics of the NPA.
“Ito ‘yung mga sinasabi na ‘immersion’ na kunwari si ganito pupunta doon. Tapos malalason na ‘yung pag-iisip tapos tatakutin na hindi pwedeng bumaba so mapipilitan itong mga estudyante to stay there,” Albayalde said.
Even before, several students of UP and PUP were accused of being aligned with the rebels.