AFP chief calls for unity in preventing ‘radicalization of dissent’ especially among the youth

As the third Senate Hearing on the alleged red-tagging continues, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Gilbert Gapay called for unity in preventing the “radicalization of dissent” especially among the youth.

This as new evidence of activists being recruited into the New People’s Army through “progressive groups” were brought up Tuesday, December 1, by former communist fighters.

“The three senate hearings have exposed what we already know–that the progressive organizations represented by the so-called Makabayan Bloc serves as a spawning pool for NPA fighters,” General Gapay said.

“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,” General Gapay added.

Several former rebels appeared on the Senate floor and in pre-recorded video to deliver their testimonies on how they were recruited into the NPA via front organizations such as Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Kabataan, and Anakpawis.

Among them is Lolit De Jesus, a former Secretary of KADAMAY, who was among those who went to Pandi, Bulacan to seize government housing as instructed by their organizers.

“Lumulubog po kami sa urban area. Doon po nagbubuo kami ng mga kababaihan, kabataan, at manggagawa,” De Jesus said as she asserted that she received orders from the CPP-NPA via Gabriela Party-list.

Another cadre of the CPP-NPA known as Ivy Lyn Corpin, also known as Ka Red/Elis, said that the Alliance of Concerned Teachers was organized by the CPP-NPA to gather supporters and new members among teachers for the NPA.

“Naranasan kong ang aming secretary sa aking committee dito sa Manila ay isang propesor sa UP Diliman at miyembro ng ACT. Noong ako ay kumilos sa Cagayan Valley, naranasan kong mai-buddy sa isang organizer ng ACT at pinapasok namin ang mga paaralan para mag organisa ng mga miyembro ng ACT,” added Ivy Lyn.

A member of an indigenous group also attested to the exploitation of the lumads in Mindanao, where children are groomed to later become fighters for the communist terrorist group.

“Ako po ay isang estudyante ng Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao Del Sur ( TRIFPS) kung saan may mga panahon na isinasama kami para mag rally at maglakabay kasama ang Bayan, Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Katribu, Anakbayan, at Gabriela,”

“Ang mga IPs na diyes anyos pataas ay dinadala sa mga kampo ng NPA para mag-training at mag-dismantle ng armas. Nang ako ay maging dose anyos ay sumapi na ako sa NPA. Nagpasya akong umalis nang masaksihan ko nag pinatay ng NPA ang tatlo kong tiyuhin,” Magdalena added.

General Gapay also said that the AFP will continue to support the National Task Force on Ending the Local Communist Armed Conflict by providing them with information needed for national policy recommendation.

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

“Their blood is in the hands of these front organizations and their enablers in the party-list groups in the House of Representatives. Now it is up to us as a nation to put all these deception and violence to an end,” General Gapay concluded. AFP.MIL.PH