Youth groups unite vs. communist recruitment

By Christine Cudis / Philippine News Agency

YOUTH LEADERS. Supreme Student Council Society of the Philippines vice president Kim Soguilon, Kabataan Kontra Droga at Terorismo spokesperson Franz Arabia, and Youth for Peace and Development Movement Philippines’ national president Alexis Micutuan (from left) speak during a virtual forum on Monday (Sept. 6, 2021). They are partners of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in ending communist recruitment in schools. (Screengrab)

MANILA – Youth groups have joined the government's fight to end insurgency by forming the Supreme Student Council Society of the Philippines (SSCSP).


In Monday's "Tagged: Debunking Lies" weekly online press conference, young leaders nationwide lamented how the youth’s potentials are wasted once they get involved with organizations connected with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).


“For the past few years, ang nagiging main recruitment talaga ng mga communist terrorist group is mga universities So, kami ngayon ang haharap sa mga universities para himukin lahat ng mga kabataan na makiisa sa Supreme Student Council Society of the Philippines (Universities have become the main recruitment center of communist terrorist groups. We take it as our duty to go into universities to influence the students to join our group),” SSCSP vice president Kim Soguilon said.


If leftist groups try to pluck students out of campuses, Soguilon said SSCSP will counter them by organizing activities that will encourage the youth to love and appreciate the country and their families.


Soguilon said the SSCSP now has 900 leaders from 94 member universities while about 1,500 members will take their oath this month.


Kabataan Kontra Droga at Terorismo spokesperson Franz Arabia said his group is an identified peace-builder and supporter of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and collaborates with the Department of Education to introduce peace education.


Tayo po ay matapang na bumibisita sa mga geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas upang ipaabot ang pagmamahal ng pamahalaan sa tulong po ng iba’t-ibang joint task force at Regional Task Force ELCAC (We go to geographically-isolated disadvantaged areas to extend the national government’s aid to the public through the help of Regional Task Force ELCAC),” he said of their 590,000-strong group.


Youth for Peace and Development Movement Philippines national president Alexis Micutuan said his group’s mission is to produce empowered and peace-loving leaders equipped with leadership, knowledge and skills, and passion for volunteerism.


“We have been doing peace dialogues with different secondary schools in our provinces and municipalities to inform the youth on the recruitment process of the left-leaning groups so that they will be aware and they can protect themselves against being recruited,” he said.


NTF-ELCAC was created by virtue of Executive Order No. 70 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in December 2018 to employ a whole-of-nation approach to end communism and institute peace-building initiatives.


The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.


The NDF was also formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council in June, citing it as the core and the most consolidated group that provides support to the armed and organizational expansion of the CPP-NPA. (PNA)

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