Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), ordered all the police regional directors to map out information campaigns for college students in their areas in order to prevent the alleged recruitment by the New People’s Army (NPA).
Security officials have been raising the alarm on the alleged recruitment in colleges and universities through the legal fronts of the NPA that include student organizations.
On Wednesday, Military chief of staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay said the recruitment of NPA among the college students were repeatedly proven with the arrest and death of communist rebels who turned out to be students from reputable universities.
Cascolan said the focus of the aggressive information drive is to counter the propaganda of the NPA which is aimed at taking advantage of the idealism and adventurism of the youth.
“We will be focusing on our information dissemination and education to all students with regard to what the PNP is doing. We are actually doing that on a quarterly basis,” said Cascolan.
Aside from the colleges and universities, Cascolan said they are now focusing on bringing the information dissemination campaign down to the barangay level especially in far-flung areas where the recruitment has been also taking place.
He said the information dissemination comes with intensified intelligence-gathering on the activities of the NPA.
“We will further our vigilance and alertness on the part of the PNP for the community to do much more. So we will go down to the barangays, we will be able to inform them and we hope to be able to assure them the protection that they really need in their barangays so that the insurgents will not be able to penetrate the community,” said Cascolan.
On Wednesday, top officials of the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) met at Camp Crame in Quezon City to review and update the government’s anti-terrorism and anti-insutgency efforts.
The goal, according to both Cascolan and Gapay, is to stop terrorism and put an end to communist insurgency before President Duterte steps down in 2022.