By Chito Chavez
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año has renewed calls for the restoration of the law that makes subversion a criminal offense.
He stressed this should be considered as reports disclosed that 500 to 1,000 youths are recruited annually by communist rebel groups.
With this alarming incidents, Año has also batted for amendment and strengthening of the law against terrorism.
To recall, parents have raised concern about their children who have gone missing reportedly after being recruited by left-leaning organizations.
He said some youth groups are relentlessly recruiting students to join a rebellion against the government.
The DILG chief noted Republic Act 9372 (Human Security Act) has been rendered useless and has not been used against terrorism since it also punished honest mistakes of law enforcers with stiff fines and imprisonment of up to 10 years.
The anti-subversion law or RA 1700 was passed in June 1957 during the presidency of Carlos P. Garcia.
During the martial law years, RA 1700 was expanded through Presidential Decree 885 in 1976 and PD 1835 in 1981.
Those decrees made it a subversive criminal act to be connected, attend a meeting or take part of any group whose aim is to overthrow the government.
Former President Fidel Ramos in September 1992 shelved the law that made subversion a criminal offense.
RA 7636 also legalized the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) amid peace talks with the rebels.
However, Año claimed the CPP has hoodwinked the government as its armed group the New People’s Army (NPA) continues to commit rebellious acts.
Año based on intelligence reports said the indoctrinated youths are trained to be fighters or made as militant student leaders in their respective schools.