AFP chief calls for end to youth radicalization

MANILA, Dec 2 (Mabuhay) — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay called for a stop to the “radicalization of dissent” among the youth, saying progressive groups recruiting them have become a “spawning pool” for New People’s Army fighters.

Gapay said on Tuesday the three Senate hearings on “red-tagging”, as claimed by the House of Representatives’ so-called Makabayan bloc, have exposed the recruitment of activists into the NPA, the Communist Party of the Philippines’ armed wing.

“We may disagree on the way this modus was presented in the past months, but we can no longer deny the role that these front organizations had in the destruction wrought upon families and communities by this decades-old violence,” Gapay said.

“Now it is up to us as a nation to put all these deception and violence to an end,” he added.

During the Senate’s hybrid hearing, former rebels, through a pre-recorded video, testified how they were recruited into the NPA through front organizations such as Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Kabataan, and Anakpawis.

Gapay said the AFP would continue to support the National Task Force on Ending the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) by providing them with the information needed for national policy recommendation.

“Our efforts will not stop here. We expect more information to surface as more activist-turned NPA fighters end up dead as a result of our military operations,” he added.

Gapay said the blood of fallen NPA members are in the hands of these front organizations and their enablers in the party-list groups. (MNS)

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