By Mario Casayuran
Neophyte Senator Imee R. Marcos has asked the Duterte administration to hold back plans to deploy the military and police in schools dubbed as hotspots of student recruitment into anti-government organizations.
“Please, let’s not invade the schools and prove those NPA (New People’s Army) recruiters right,” Marcos said.
Marcos warned that turning schools into “virtual garrisons” would only attract students to anti-government groups like the NPA.
She instead proposed that students be encouraged to participate in government programs by organizing Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) youth chapters with the support of the National Youth Commission (NYC).
Marcos said students must be allowed to organize freely.
“It’s the only way they can develop their convictions and sense of right and wrong,” she stressed.
In a recent Senate hearing, parents testified that their children had been recruited by left-leaning groups, with some of them reportedly joining the NPA, the communist movement’s military arm.
The senator had earlier opposed the call among military and police supporters to revive the Anti-Subversion Act of 1957 that makes mere membership in the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA a crime.
Instead, Marcos proposed the strengthening of the Human Security Act of 2007, via Senate Bill 630, saying the bill would punish rebellion and insurrection as terrorist acts “without discriminating against ideology, religion, or politics.”