/ 28 October 2020

THE KABATAAN partylist urged the Commission on Higher Education to stop lectures held by military officers as part of the National Service Training Program.

Kabataan Rep. Sarah Jane Elego said the lectures hosted by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict should not be allowed because these tend to “demonize” some groups.

“Boards of Regents and Trustees, and university and college presidents, could take the pro-active step of banning such NTF-ECLAC lectures ahead of any CHED action,” Elago said.

“NTF-ECLAC has no business endangering, infecting, and infiltrating the campuses through the NSTP program which is supposed to provide students a demilitarized and non-military service training program,” she added.

She called on local government units to check if there are any signs of militarization in the NSTP program.

The lawmaker said these lectures were “unauthorized and unapproved by the relevant authorities in-charge of overseeing learning and teaching materials in our schools.”

She added that school administrators should keep schools as ‘safe zones’  for discussion and engagement in sectoral and national concerns.

Allowing military presence ‘encroaches’ on the students’ safety, Elago said.

Last week, during an NSTP webinar, Colonel Erwin Alea of the NTF-ELCAC tagged several groups and individuals as ‘communist terrorists’ who allegedly recruited students to join the armed conflict.

Alea cautioned students from interacting with members of groups such as the League of Filipino Students, Anakbayan, Kabataan, Gabriela, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines and the National Union of Students in the Philippines.