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Statement of the NTF ELCAC

May 27, 2024

We categorically refute the allegations made by the Kabataan and ACT Teachers party-lists regarding the distribution by the Armed Forces of the Philippines of supposedly “red-tagging” pamphlets which allegedly depicted rallyist as terrorists during a seminar held at Taytay Senior High School in Rizal.

A careful perusal and review of the said pamphlets will easily prove that there is no “red tagging” in the said materials. Nowhere in the said materials does it characterize rallyists as terrorists. It merely informed the students of the modus operandi of recruiters of the New People’s Army (NPA) which is factual and based on evidence.

The Army’s 80th Infantry Battalion conducted the seminar as part of a civic education program aimed at raising awareness about national security threats and promoting patriotism among youth. This initiative, in collaboration with DepEd-Rizal, National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), and Hands Off Our Children Movement, Inc., focused on educating the youth about the dangers posed by insurgent groups, including the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), which is designated as a terrorist organization by the Philippines and other several countries.

The seminar adhered to a Memorandum of Partnership with DepEd-Rizal to conduct information education campaigns for senior high school students in Rizal province. It aimed to provide them with knowledge of the indicators or red flags that they are being recruited by CPP-NPA organizers. This aligns with Rizal Provincial Resolution No. 03, series of 2023, which supports community information programs to protect vulnerable sectors from terrorist recruitment and exploitation.

We strongly deny any accusations of “red-tagging”. The seminar in question focused only on NPA recruitment and did not target any other organization. Contrary to the claims made by the Kabataan and ACT Teachers party-list, these seminars provided factual information that allows the youth to make informed decisions affecting their lives. The seminars were conducted transparently with the consent and cooperation of the Division of Rizal and attendance was voluntary per DepEd Rizal’s directive, contrary to reports of mandatory attendance without prior notice.

The AFP and NTF-ELCAC are committed to fostering an environment where the youth can engage in constructive discourse and critically thinking. We are committed to upholding the rights and freedoms of all citizens, ensuring that no individual is unjustly targeted or harassed. We reiterate the government’s commitment to transparency, truth, and the protection of civil liberties. We encourage all parties to engage in constructive dialogue and to verify facts before making public statements that tend to mislead or misinform the public about the truth. ###



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