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Army to schools, parents: Watch your children against activists

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SANTA ROSA CITY — The Armed Forces of the Philippines said last week it was seeking a dialogue with education officials to discuss the alleged recruitment of students into the communist movement.

General Benjamin Madrigal Jr., AFP chief of staff, said the dialogue is important in the wake of the death of former UPLB student Carlo John Alberto during an alleged firefight with soldiers on February 14.

“It is right for students to exercise their academic freedom but let us remind them there is a limit to being a revolutionary and, of course, having sense of nationalism,” Madrigal told reporters, according to a report by The Manila Times.

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The military also cited the case of Josephine Lapira, a former student of UP Manila and a member of leftist Gabriela Youth, who died with 15 others after reportedly clashing with soldiers in Nasugbu, Batangas, two years ago.

AFP spokesman Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo “appealed to parents and school officials to prevent students from joining rebel organizations,” the Times reported.

“Parents and school officials should be aware of the students’ whereabouts, and what groups they had joined,” he said, calling the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, “terrorists (who) continue to lurk in our schools and communities spying for new recruits to fill the dwindling number of their cadres.”

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