Student leaders from Luzon convened for the launching of the “Supreme Student Council Society of the Philippines,” which is in support of the government’s campaign against communist insurgency and seeks to promote peace and development in the country.
Lt. Col. Byron De Ocampo, Philippine Airforce-Civil Military Operations (PAF-CMO) Group Commander, said the youth is the most vulnerable sector recruited by leftist organizations that have links to the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
“We thought that we need to watch out (for) our youth and guide them into the right path,” Ocampo told the Philippine News Agency.
Ocampo said left-leaning organizations and other terrorist groups are doing a lot of strategies to recruit the youth as they are easy targets to manipulate.
“We also envisioned our youth to prepare for the future, guide them in their job opportunities, instead of joining left-leaning groups. One of the purposes is to shun away the left’s capabilities to organize and mobilize youth for recruitment,” he added.
Initially, the PAF-CMO encourages the youth and elected student leaders to become members of the newly created organization to help them in peace-building activities in their universities.
The airforce official mentioned that the society is also open to any student who wants to be part of nation-building and country-reform.
The creation of the Supreme Student Council Society of the Philippines is conceptualized by the PAF-CMO, in partnership with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), National Youth Commission (NYC), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), in support to the Executive Order No. 70 creating the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC).
The initial launching covers about 20 state-universities from Metro Manila, Cavite, Batangas, and Pampanga.
It will soon be launched in parts of the Visayas and Mindanao once the Philippines’ Supreme Student Council Society in Luzon has started functioning.
“We are still to organize and fix the by-laws and its structures. We will see how this organization will work before extending this to the other part of the country, of course in collaboration with our partners in the education sector,” Ocampo said.
The society will be “sectorized” but should work under one umbrella.
He also said that once the society is onboard, the NYC and CHED will monitor the council’s sustainability.
“We envisioned these youth will be part of our journey for a wave of a peaceful and progressive country as they will become a tool to peace and development promotion,” Ocampo said.
Meanwhile, Pasay City University (PCU) professor Melvin Crisostomo said a “progressive country is made up of guided individuals”.
“Including the youth in this kind of peace and order activities can help the country to become dynamic. We need to guide these students for nation-building as we envisioned a peaceful country free from violence,” Crisostomo added.
Brian Aris Bolante, PCU student council president, lauded the creation of the supreme student council society saying “this is a mind-opening to every student leaders coming from different schools.”
“To open awareness that our obligation doesn’t just have to work out within our school vicinities, our role in society to nation-building is essential,” Bolante added.
PAF-CMO said it continues to engage the youth to support advocacies against communism through campus peace and development forums.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)