The Philippine Army’s 69th Infantry Battalion (69IB) is stepping up its information and education campaign to counter the recruitment efforts of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), particularly among students.
1st Lieutenant Lawrence Mark P. Agbayani, commanding officer of 69IB’s Bravo Company, said on Wednesday that they have conducted a series of awareness campaigns such as campus peace forums in almost half of the schools in their area of jurisdiction.
“We will continue to conduct such activities until all parents and teachers are aware of the deceptive propaganda of the CPP-NPA,” Agbayani said.
The 69IB covers twelve municipalities and two cities in Nueva Ecija and one municipality in Aurora province.
These are Aliaga, Cuyapo, Guimba, Licab, Nampicuan, Quezon, Santo Domingo, Talavera, Zaragoza, Sta. Rosa, Laur, Gabaldon, Cabanatuan City and Palayan City, all in Nueva Ecija and Dingalan town in Aurora.
Agbayani said the forum becomes an eye-opener for parents and teachers about the deceptive propaganda of the CPP-NPA.
Among the topics discussed during the campus forum, he said, were national security threats, campus infiltration of the CPP-NPA, exploitation of the youth sector, preventive measures, CPP-NPA atrocities and the AFP recruitment process, including the unauthorized wearing of uniforms or insignia of military or police.
Lieutenant Colonel Arcadio S. Posada, commanding officer of the 69IB, earlier said that they will continue to conduct information drives to prevent exploitation of the youth by the CPP-NPA.
“Otherwise, we will be remiss of our duty as protector of the people and the state,” he said.
Major General Lenard T. Agustin, commander of the 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, likewise said that the first step in getting the people to support the thrust of the Philippine Army, in line with the government’s objective of ending insurgency, is to make them understand how manipulative, deceptive and dangerous the CPP-NPA is.
“We have to intensify our campaign against these local terrorists and broaden the understanding of our people on just how detrimental they are to communities, and to the youth, in particular. We must all work together to stop them. What the 69IB and all of the other 7ID units are doing now is responsive to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 70 or the “whole-of-nation approach” to end the local communist armed conflict,” Agustin said.
He thanked the parents and teachers for their support to their campaign as he called on all the local government units (LGUs) to do the same.
“With our concerted efforts, we will succeed in ending the insurgency,” Agustin said. (PNA)