The Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) will hold a dialogue with officials of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Education (DepEd) and members of the academe over the recruitment of students by the communist New People’s Army (NPA).
Eastmincom spokesperson, Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey said they don't have the exact number of students from Mindanao who ended as NPA members but there are records of those who were recruited to join the rebel group in Eastern Mindanao.
Balagtey said Eastmincom is appealing to parents and school officials to prevent students from joining the NPA.
"They always do deceptive recruitment in the guise of organizing a legitimate student organization," Balagtey said, referring to the communist group.
"Unwittingly, these students who were recruited are being agitated and, eventually, being required to undergo immersion in the armed group before their eventual integration into the NPA like what happened to the UPLB (University of the Philippines-Los Baños) student who was recently killed in an encounter," he said.
Capt. Jerry Lamosao, spokesperson of 10th Infantry Division, said, “The students of Salugpungan schools are direct recruits of the NPA.”
He said that in the urban centers, students who cut classes to join anti-government rallies are vulnerable to NPA recruitment.