By Arwen Pascua
MANILA — The Philippine Army’s 71st Infantry (Kaibigan) Battalion of the 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division PA, conducted an Information Awareness Drive among senior high school students of Santa Maria National High School in Barangay Poblacion Sur, Sta Maria, Ilocos Sur last October 3 and 7, 2022.
During the two-day symposium, around 900 senior high school students participated in lectures regarding the role of the youth in nation-building, challenges and issues among Filipino youth, harms of communism, and stages of CTGs recruitment among the youth and student sectors.
The activity primarily aims to raise awareness and enlighten the youth and student sectors on the deceptive recruitment of the Communist Terrorist Group especially since they will commence their colleges and universities which are the common recruitment areas.
Further, a documentary film was presented to the participants highlighting the narratives and testimonies of former rebels, especially former youth cadres on their personal experiences of how the CPP-NPA-NDF infiltrates, recruits and destroys every sector of society.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Michael B Bautista, Commanding Officer of 71IB, it is very important that the student sector know and understand how the CTGs deceive and exploits freshman students in colleges and universities which are the common recruitment areas of the Communist groups.
Due to their youthful idealism and intellect, these students are the most vulnerable to the sweet lies and promises of the terroristic group.
Meanwhile, Major General Andrew D Costelo, Commander of 7ID emphasized the importance of the roles of youth sectors in ending local armed conflict in the unit’s AOR.
“Sila ang magiging sandigan ng hinaharap na kalagayan ng ating bansa, let us nurture the young generations with accurate knowledge on patriotism, compassionate, and being upright.” MGen Costelo said.