CALOOCAN CITY, Oct. 29 (PIA) -- Various anti-communist groups and other non-government organizations on Wednesday held simultaneous candle-lighting vigils protesting the atrocities committed by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and its allies.
Members of the League of Parents in the Philippines (LPP), Liga Independencia Filipinas (LIF), League of Youth for Peace Advancement (LYPAD), Coalition for Peace (COPA), and Hands Off Our Children, alongside mothers of students who were reportedly recruited by various militant groups, offered prayers for the souls of individuals who were killed by communist terrorist groups.
"As we approach the day of the dead and commemorate our bereaved loved ones, also, we should never forget those lives of ordinary citizens who lay victims to the terrorist acts of the CPP-NPA-NDF," the groups said as they called for the end of armed conflict caused by the longstanding insurgency.
LPP chair Remy Rosadio said the groups chose three historical places in Manila City to hold their simultaneous candle-lighting ceremony -- Plaza Miranda, Mendiola Arc, and Nicanor Reyes Street formerly known as Morayta.
During the vigil, groups denounced the killing of innocent people during the Plaza Miranda bombing and Mendiola Massacre.
"We want to remind the public about the wickedness and terroristic acts brought by these communists. They are destroying our country and our people," Rosadio said.
Stop youth recruitment
Members of Hands Off Our Children and the parents of minors who reportedly joined the communist terrorist movement demanded the CPP-NPA-NDF and its legal-fronts to stop exploiting the youth for political interest, as they staged a protest along Morayta Street.
The anti-communist groups said they will always stand their ground and expose the recruitment schemes done by militant organizations.
Rosadio said communist groups and their alleged allied youth organizations have used the pandemic to brainwash minors and eventually recruit them to join their cause.
"It is hurtful for us parents to see our children engaged in pointless armed struggles. No parent would like to see their children holding firearms and taken away from cultivated communities going to the mountains and remote areas-we just want them to be properly educated and live a peaceful life," Rosadio said.
Rosadio said the communist terrorists did not relent in the middle of the health crisis but "continued to tell lies to explicitly recruit new members for the NPA."
Rosadio, however, noted that the youth and parents are now aware of the CPP-NPA-NDF and its allies' deceptive recruitment process.
Meanwhile, LPP Secretary-General Jose Goita said the symbolic candle-lighting is a "testament on how many Filipino families have fallen into the snare of the communist insurgency.
"Some of them have not only fallen but have been broken. They were killed. As we hope that the rest of the kids who are now with the rebels or are being recruited will survive, we cannot sit by and wait for the bad news about our kids," Goita said.
On the other hand, Rosadio assured the groups' simultaneous demonstrations strictly adhered to the government's health protocols to halt the spread of the Covid-19 infection.
"We strictly observe physical and social distancing while we expressed our sentiments about the atrocities caused by the CPP-NPA-NDF," she said.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PIA NCR)