AFP warns students of Maute recruitment in schools

Photo from the Armed Forces of  the Philippines Facebook page
Photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines Facebook page

THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) told students to be vigilant, as remnants of the terror group Maute-Isis has started recruiting new members in schools, particularly in universities.

The warning came after the AFP reportedly received information from the 48 Maute-Isis surrenderers.

"Among the revelations that they gave us is that, aside from recruiting in the municipalities around Lanao del Sur, they are also recruiting in schools dahil gusto nga nilang makuha yung mga kabataan (because they want to gather youths)," Colonel Romeo Brawner Jr., AFP Joint Task Force Ranao deputy commander, said on Wednesday, July 11.

"Ang alam po natin is that meron silang recruitment sa lahat ng schools. Maaaring hindi lantaran na recruitment (We know that there are recruitments in all the schools. It may not be done openly) but there are recruitments. We have to warn really our students," he added.

The deputy commander said that at present, they have been keeping a closer eye on universities as recruitment is not only done by the Maute group but also by the New People's Army (NPA).

"Hindi lang naman ang Maute ang nagre-recruit, pati yung NPA nagre-recruit (The Maute group isn't the only one recruiting students, the NPA too). [In] Davao, Cagayan de Oro. So when we talk about recruitment, we are not just referring to the recruitment done by the Maute-Isis, pati yung NPA nagre-recruit (even the NPA is recruiting)," Brawner said.

"The first solution, the first step to solving a problem is to recognize the problem. We have to recognize that there is a recruitment happening. At alam naman natin, tayo naging estudyante tayo, alam natin nangyayari ya, (We know that, we were once students, we know that) and until now may recruitment pa rin (recruitment is still present)," he added.

Brawner said the AFP has started addressing the problem by incorporating peace education in the school's curriculum.

"Ang ginagawa po natin is that pinapasukan na natin yung curriculum natin nang peace education (What we're doing is that we're incorporating peace education in the curriculum) so that the students are aware of what it is to be a peaceful nation and what their roles are to achieve that," the deputy commander said.


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