By Francis Wakefield
The Army’s 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division has warned students and teachers against the recruitment efforts of the New People’s Army (NPA) during the recent 1st Quarter Multi-Sector Advisory Board (MSAB) Meeting at the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) in Munoz, Nueva Ecija.
According to the 7th ID, it is necessary to stress the importance of being vigilant about the recruitment efforts of the NPAs, considering that the MSAB meeting is being held at a university.
During the meeting, Brigadier General Lenard T. Agustin, commander of the 7th ID, shared that one of CLSU’s former students, Kathleen “Katkat” Ramos, was recruited by the League of Filipino Students (LFS).
Katkat was a Veterinary Medicine student in CLSU when she was recruited by the student organization in 2002. Ramos later became a member of the NPA and was killed by her fellow rebel. Her remains were exhumed by the Army through the information provided by a former rebel after she went missing for three years.
On the other hand, the MSAB, along with their military counterpart, the Army Transformation Roadmap Technical Working Group (ATRTWG), updated the board on the status of ongoing and proposed projects.
Dr. Virginia G. Sacramento, chairperson of MSAB, said she looks forward to seeing the suggested projects from last year to take shape this year. She is positive that with the help of the 7th ID and the MSAB’s guidance and expertise, more of the unutilized resources of the 7th ID will finally be productive and help towards the development of the Camp, without compromising the environment.
Several MSAB projects are already generating resources for the 7th ID such as the Mushroom production and Tilapia raising projects. The Ecotourism in Fort Magsaysay has started catering to nearby schools interested in learning the history of 7ID and touring its camp base.
Agustin said the conduct of MSAB meeting in CLSU is not a coincidence and might serve as a reminder to everyone to constantly warn the students, as well as members of the academe, on the consequences of joining left-leaning organizations.
“All of the students and even teachers are vulnerable targets for NPA recruitment. I would like to tell everyone that if we want to see change in the government, we should change ourselves first. Transformation happens within and not by joining rallies or left-leaning organizations. There are proper ways to express our grievances to the government,” he said.
Agustin also expressed his full support on the MSAB projects and suggested some project planning and implementation.