Bancasi, Butuan City – Students of the National Service Training Program (NSTP) of Father Saturnino Urios University (FSSU) have pledged support for Peace and wrote open letters to the CPP-NPA-NDF during the Information Education Campaign (IEC) on Public Safety and Security at FSSU Gym, Butuan City on September 28, 2019.

About one thousand (1,000) students of NSTP attended the IEC against insurgency initiated by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) in partnership with the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade to instill awareness about the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) and prevent recruitment of youths from schools, universities and colleges.

In line with the objectives of the Situational Awareness and Knowledge Management (SAKM) Cluster of the Regional Task Force in Ending the Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) under the Executive Order No 70, the NICA in cooperation with Army units in Caraga is conducting massive Information Education Campaign to provide information and awareness to all sectors against CPP-NPA-NDF particularly the CTG recruitment towards vulnerable sectors such as the youth and IPs.

Among the highlights during the activity was the oath of the students pledging support against the CTGs, and the discussion of the CTG Youth Recruitment and Infiltration Strategy in campuses.

Major Francisco P Garello Jr, Civil Military Operations Officer of the 402nd Brigade lectured on the Security Awareness discussing on Insurgency, nature of CTGs and Stages of CTG Infiltration of the campuses. As part of taking the pulse of the students and gauge their understanding about the situation involving the CPP-NPA-NDF, Major Garello Jr posed a question to the students asking, “If you are to write an Open Letter to the NPA, What would you say?, “After my discussion, we were overwhelmed about how the students grasp their role in building a peaceful community. When I asked them to write something to the NPA, they themselves appealed to the NPA to stop recruiting the youth and take away their future and even encouraged them to go back to the folds of the law. As young as they are, they are now more concerned after learning the true nature of the communist terrorist group and appealed to the NPA that we unite and live in peace.”

One student wrote to the NPA saying “violence and revolution are not the answer or solution to what you are fighting for. Please stop, stop recruiting the young. Please stop! Don’t be the source of destruction. See the good in everything. Be the source of hope and peace in the world we live in that’s full of chaos.”

Another one said, “To: NPA, Please Stop! Let’s just unite! Let’s give peace for our beloved nation” The open letters have shown and amplify the true voice of the youth supporting the peace and abhorring violence brought by the CTG.

In his statement, COL MAURITO L LICUDINE, Commander of the 402nd Brigade said “The letters we received from the students with their increased awareness are indications that the youth do not want violence and the revolution that the CTG have been espousing for over 50yrs had been affecting them. It is only the exploitation and manipulation of the weakness and vulnerabilities of the people that they able to deceive the youths in joining their group.”

“They must be stopped! All of us must be united and be alert of the CTG threat and to prevent their recruitment from all sectors or else this insurgency problem will persist for many years. Even so, your Army is still open for those CTG members who wanted to lay down their arms and go back to the folds of the law. They can always avail of the E-CLIP of the government and start a new life”, COL LICUDINE added.