By Mike Crismundo
CAMP DATU LIPUS MAKAPANDONG, Awa, New Leyte, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur – Peace and development teams (PDTs) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines seized a sack of documents from the CPP-NPA-NDFP, Capt. Francisco P. Garello, Jr., Civil Military Operation (CMO) chief of the Army’s 36th Infantry (Valor) Battallion (36th IB) told The Manila Bulletin on Wednesday.
Garello said PDTs of 36th IB seized a total of 28 books espousing the Mao Ze Dong teachings, 392 news magazines of “Ang Bayan” and 195 news magazines of ‘Lingkawas” to be used for propaganda and teach-ins in order to entice recruitment from the civilian populace.
“These study lessons and propaganda materials were captured by the 36th IB troopers at one of the drop-off points in the vicinity of Igis-igis, Barangay Cancavan, Carmen town, Surigao del Sur province at 9 o’clock in the evening on Monday (Oct. 8), Garello said.
A concerned villager, whose identity was withheld for his safety and security, pinpointed the exact location of the documents, he said.
“These materials are to be used for propaganda and teach-ins in order to entice their (CPP-NPA-NDFP) recruitment,” he said.
“The 36th IB troopers successfully captured the said reading materials when they arrived at the targeted area, in response to a tip from a concerned citizen in the barangay that a contraband supposedly coming from the CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNT) was dropped off and ready for pick up,” Garello said.
It can be recalled that sometime in the year 2017, troops also captured a number of CNT uniforms due to a tip also from a civilian populace in the said barangay, he said.
“These reading materials coming from the CNTs are vital indicators that they are recruiting in the barangays,” he said. “They use this to shape the hearts and minds of the people to entice them to join their group. This only validates our statements that their organization is already falling apart due to massive surrenders and setbacks that they are in need of fresh recruits.”
Lt Col. Xerxes A. Trinidad, the 36th IB “Valor” commander, said “the discovery of the said materials following a tip from a concerned citizen coming from the barangay is a manifestation that the community does not want the CNTs.”
“These kinds of materials agitates the minds of innocent civilians especially our youth,” said Garello.
“Teachings in books and feature stories in the magazines are one of the tools and strategies of the CNTs to entice supporters and fuel the emotions in order to exploit vulnerabilities,” he said.
“I commend my troops for the capture of the CNTs recruitment materials. This can spoil their plan in propagating their terrorist organization and destroy the lives of the Filipino people. Let us unite and be alert on the CNTs manipulation thru this kind of deceptions to lure desirable recruits,” Trinidad said.
He said the army particularly the 36th IB, upon the request of the schools and other stakeholders, is continuously conducting information and education Campaign to expose the nature of CPP-NPA-NDFP for everyone to be aware on the CNTS deceptive recruitment and infiltration strategies in all sectors of society.