More than 1,000 students from several colleges and universities in Manila City went missing and were believed to have been recruited by the New People’s Army (NPA), the Metro Manila police chief said on Monday.
Newly promoted Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao, Jr., director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), said this was the information they obtained when he was still the director of the Manila Police District (MPD).
Danao was the MPD Director from November 2018 to October 2019, before he was appointed as the regional director of the Police Regional Office 4A, or CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon).
“When I was in the MPD there are 1,000 plus students missing who up to now are still missing and could not be located by their parents. These are the students who joined the leftist groups,” said Danao.
“These are the students who were deceived into joining (the NPA). Some of them are already dead, while some were raped. So what kind of organization is that?” he added.
This is the reason, according to Danao, why he has been supportive of the move of the Department of National Defense (DND) to scrap the agreement with the University of the Philippines which requires coordination of the military with the UP authorities before they could enter any of its campuses.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and the military, was harshly criticized in the social media for the abrogation of the agreement.
He, however, expressed intention to sit down with UP President Danilo Concepcion to discuss the issue.
But for Danao, the recruitment in the schools must be stopped since it is the students and their family who usually suffer.
“Saan ka makakita na kapag eskwelahan kailangan pa ng abiso. Paano kung may pinagbabaril diyan, ano ang gagawin kapag may shooting spree inside mismo?” said Danao.
While the DND-UP agreement was already scrapped, policemen could not yet enter UP campuses since there was a separate agreement between UP and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) similar to that accord in 1992. The PNP is under the DILG.
Lorenzana said that the reason why the accord was abrogated was because UP campuses have been the recruitment grounds for communist rebels. (Aaron Recuenco)