BRIGADIER General Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, warned students about the recruitments conducted by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) in schools.
"Sadly, statistics tell us that many youth who joined the NPAs only perished during encounters with the military," Arevalo said.
"We should be able to distinguish activism from supporting terrorism," he told the students.
"The government respects the academic freedom and allows the people to express what they want and critic the flaws they see in the society. However, when a person starts to take up arms or support terrorist organizations like the CPP-NPA, that is already against the law and the government will act upon it," Arevalo said.
The brigadier general made the statement before 2,000 students and faculty in his talk during the "Deceptive Youth Recruitment Strategy of the CPP-NPA-NDF" forum Saturday, August 24, at the University of St La Salle-Bacolod Coliseum.
Invited as one of the speakers, Arevalo also showed to the students a three-minute animated film "Pindoy," which portrays how the CPP-NPA-NDF encroach schools and universities by misleading and enraging students, and eventually turning them into NPA members.
The activity also had an open forum where a student raised a question as to how they (youth/students) can be shielded from the lies and deceptions of the CPP-NPA-NDF to which Arevalo answered, "Watch 'Pindoy' in Youtube over and over again, and be wary of the organizations you're joining since some will only deceive you by filling your minds with hatred and violence."
The USLS faculty headed by Dexter Ian Tabujara presented certificates of appreciation to Arevalo and Edwin Marthine Lopez, Development NGO officer, who also spoke about National Security from a different perspective.
"Indeed, this is a true exercise of academic freedom when the military is also heard by the students and faculty about the lies, deceptions, and manipulations of the CPP-NPA-NDF. There is a tendency of some universities to think that it is only through hearing leftist ideas that they are able to practice academic freedom. But when the military is seen and heard in the campuses, they call it militarization. This is another lie and deception," Arevalo added.