By AARON RECUENCO
The Philippine National Police (PNP) wants the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to take part in the government actions to prevent the recruitment of the communist rebels in colleges and universities.
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said incidents of rebel recruitments is alarming and serious since it is both the recruited students and their parents who tend to suffer if in case they take up arms to fight the government.
“There were really incidents in the past involving students. Even when I was a junior officer, we have seen cases like this. So we are really concerned about this,” said Albayalade.
He then cited the case of a 22-year old female student who was killed in an encounter with government troops recently.
“All along the parents thought that she was studying. That she was about to graduate, only to be shocked by the news that their daughter was killed in an encounter with government troops,” said Albayalde.
“If you are the parents of this child, how would you feel? You raised them, you loved them, you spent a lot of money for the education to the extent that some of them would even go abroad and yet, they will just be recruited by the communist rebels,” he added.
For Albayalde, the military revelation that communist rebels have been recruiting in at least 19 colleges and universities in Metro Manila should serve as a wakeup call for the CHEd to do something.
“It is high time to educate them, it is high time to engage the Commission on Higher Education,” said Albayalde.
“It is high time for the Commission on Higher Education to intervene,” he stressed.
Albayalde, however, became the subject of intense criticisms in the social media after he was quoted as saying that students of state colleges and universities should just focus on their study to make the most of the free tuition they enjoy.
He was also quoted as saying that professors who teach students to fight the government should be arrested.
Yesterday, Albayalde said that the PNP recognizes academic freedom.
“I submit that academic freedom is important to promote critical thinking in our educational institutions but it does not give anyone the right to abet, encourage or violate laws and regulations much more, to take advantage of the students’ idealism to propagate hatred, violence and armed struggle against the government,” said Albayalde in a statement.