Religious, teachers campaign against NPA youth recruitment

BAYUGAN CITY, Agusan del Sur – San Isidro Labrador Parish Church and Marcelina National High School in partnership with the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn) join the campaign against NPA youth recruitment through a symposium with the theme, “Inclusive and Sustainable Peace, Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict” held at San Isidro Labrador Parish Hall 10am today.

Around 200 students actively participated in the interactive discussions. First Lieutenant Krisjuper Andreo J. Punsalan INF, CMO Officer of the 3SFBn tackled the role of the youth and the various sectors of society in the Whole-Of-Nation approach to end local communist armed conflict while a former head teacher of Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), an alleged recruitment facility and hub of the rebels, exposed the modus of the IP schools established by the communists in the far-flung areas.

Rev.Fr. Marcelo A. Pondoc, Parish priest of San Isidro Labrador Parish said, “The scriptures tell us that blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God. The church and the state are separate entities but it is the role of the religious sector to lead the people in the path to peace and reconciliation and not to agitate and mobilize them to cause conflict. There are numerous issues in our society and these are best solved through peaceful means. The government wants to end communist armed conflict and that is a common goal we share. Let us support peace!”

“The parents have high hopes for their children and these children have wonderful dreams of their own and we won’t allow these groups (NPAs) to take those away from them. No concerned parent would want their children to become a militant and a rebel”, Ma. Antonietta J. Golapo, OIC of the school, said.

With the nationwide outrage of parents against Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students (LFS), Kabataan Party-list and other militant youth groups, various sectors expressed their support to “Hands-off our Children” and Save our Youth campaigns aiming towards preventing the youth from being recruited by the communist rebels.

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