ZAMBOANGA CITY, July 8 (PIA) - The National Youth Commission (NYC) warns the youth not be swayed by false ideologists of leftist organizations, many of which have links to the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army (CPP-NPA) through invitations to join their groups.
During a gathering of media, government and military officials Saturday (July 6), NYC Commissioner Victor Del Rosario said the youth, given their innocence are very vulnerable to false ideologies.
"Some groups use the guise of development and reform, but their real agenda is power grab," Commissioner Del Rosario said. "The youth must be educated enough to avoid being recruited by these groups."
"Do not be swayed by the propaganda of these groups," he tells the youth.
Del Rosario proposes to develop peace education curriculum in schools as a strategy to address this problem.
Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Zamboanga City Federated President Cary John Pioc said although there has been no report of CPP-NPA youth recruitment in the city, he cannot discount the fact that this is happening in other provinces.
"There are a lot of cases of recruitment, and this usually occurs to out of school youth. They are easy targets to manipulate," Pioc said.
Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said CPP-NPA and terrorist groups like the Abu Sayyaf usually take advantage of youth, particularly those residing in depressed and isolated areas due to their innocence.
"They are easy targets and are highly vulnerable to false ideologies and as a result they tend to join these groups," Lt. Gen. Sobejana added.
To counter this problem, government and stakeholders must unite to put an end to the recruitment. Sobejana urges stakeholders to disseminate correct information about the sincerity of government in promoting sustainable peace and development especially in the geographically isolated areas. He advises agencies to take advantage of mass gatherings to disseminate information.
On Saturday, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) launched Usapang Pangkapayapaan, Usapang Pangkaunlaran (UP-UP) Zamboanga at the Edwin Andrews Air Base (EAAB). The activity aims to disseminate the communication efforts of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), under President Rodrigo Duterte's Executive Order 70. This task force requires a whole-of-nation approach with the support of all government agencies and its stakeholders to finally put an end to the communist insurgency and reintegrate its members back to mainstream society as productive citizens of the Republic.
PAF Col. Gerardo Zamudio, Jr. said initially, they will engage the youth in the different schools through campus peace and development forums. They are counting on the support of government and non-government stakeholders to further the advocacy against communist groups. (ALT/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)