UST, Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), De La Salle University (DLSU) and Far Eastern University (FEU) denounced on Sunday a military anti-insurgency official’s claim that 18 Metro Manila colleges and universities were hotbeds of communist recruitment.

In a joint statement, the universities asserted that they “neither promote nor condone recruitment activities of the New People’s Army and, indeed, of any movement that aims to violently overthrow the government.”

“We take as a sacred trust our primary responsibilities to promote learning and safeguard the rights of the young who are entrusted to our care. We are committed to this mission and have always held ourselves accountable to our primary constituents, the learners, and by extension, their parents,” the statement read.

On Jan. 24, National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict spokesman Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade said in an interview on GMA News’ Super Radyo dzBB that the military had identified at least 18 colleges and universities, mostly in the National Capital Region, where communist recruitment activities have been taking place.

Among the institutions listed by Parlade were the University of the Philippines, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, FEU, ADMU,UST, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, DLSU and the University of Makati.

Same charges three years apart

The four universities called Parlade’s statements a “rehash” of the same statements he made in 2018. 

“This charge, though, is really ‘getting old’—a rehash of the public accusation the general made in 2018—irresponsibly since cast without proof,” the schools said.

In 2018, Parlade claimed 18 schools in Manila were tapped by the Communist Party of the Philippines to join the alleged “Red October” plot against the Duterte administration. He also claimed some school officials were unaware that their students were being recruited to join the communist campaign

READ: UST condemns AFP’s ‘red-tagging’

Vice Rector Fr. Isaias Tiongco, O.P. represented UST in the joint statement, which was also signed by FEU President Michael Alba, DLSU President Br. Raymundo Suplido and ADMU President Fr. Roberto Yap, S.J.


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