MALAYBALAY CITY — Thousands of students have written “open letters” to members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) during the National Training Service Program Symposium for freshmen students at the Bukidnon State University (BukSU) here on Sunday.
Capt. Ryan Layug, spokesperson of the Army’s 403rd Brigade, said most of the open letters encouraged the NPA combatants to surrender and grab another chance at life.
“I was not expecting them to submit letters convincing NPA to come home; I just told them if you were to write a letter to NPA what would you say,” Layug said.
He said the young people may still send their messages to the members of the communist rebel movement through their Facebook Page (403rd Infantry Peacemaker Brigade) “or on a piece of paper.”
“I was overwhelmed. I collected over a thousand papers with messages asking them to leave the movement and return home. Our FB Page was also flooded with messages,” he said.
One of the letters said that it’s not too late for any rebel for a fresh start.
“Dear NPA, it’s not too late for change. We will welcome you back here (in our communities),” one of the students’ messages read.
Brig. Gen. Edgardo de Leon, the Army’s 403rd Brigade commander, described the students’ letters appealing for NPAs to return to the fold of the law as “a reflection of their desire for peace in the communities they are in”.
“It is also a manifestation of the students’ rejection of the culture of hatred and violence,” De Leon added.