Military, police wooing Davao studes away from CPP-NPA

The University of the Philippines in Mindanao is not in the list, Del Rosario said, because "there is not much threat in the campus."

He said the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Task Force Davao, Davao City Police Office, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), for the first time, will jointly conduct the information drive to educate the students against "threats to national development in the country,” including crimes, drug abuse, and threats to national security.

Del Rosario said they will give a series of four-hour lectures so that the students will know the efforts of the government in national development. But he pointed out that they will do it only if the school administration will agree. He said they will send letters to the institutions starting next week.

Del Rosario pointed out that members left-leaning organizations and some student councils are "prone" to recruitment by the rebel groups. "The students have to be careful because the organizations operate in disguise, by planting the seed of dissent in the minds of the students which eventually leads to possible recruitment," he added.

He said they respect the rights of the students to join organizations but only want to educate them so that "they will not be misled." Many students, he pointed out, are not aware of the danger.

But Nelly Sun, secretary-general of the youth organization Anakbayan, said that the military is only trying to link the legitimate youth organizations to the rebel groups. "The main agenda of this plan is suspect. We see this as part of the all-out war against the CPP-NPA and they are dragging innocent students to it," she said.

Sun said the authorities want to send the message that the youth should not join organizations that use legitimate means in their struggle against school administrations. "This will result in harassment and will discourage the students to join organizations that aspire for legitimate causes in education and peoples' rights.