The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army’s (CPP-NPA) main target for recruitment are young people from 13 to 35 years old, according to the 10th Civil Military Operation (CMO) Battalion of the 10th Infantry Division, Philippine Army based in Davao del Norte.
During the BIDA-Ambisyon Natin-ELCAC (Task Force Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict) youth forum last December 11, 10th CMO Battalion operations Officer, Captain Angelo M. Peralta, said that the youth are the most sought-after recruits by the rebellion because they are “open-minded, aggressive, adventurous, strong and physically fit”.
“In its early days, most of the support came from the youth sector. Ito yung dapat nating ma-iwasan, kaya dapat nating malaman kung paano na re-recruit ang mga kabataan (This is what we need to avoid, that’s why we need to know how the youth are recruited),” he added.
According to Peralta, the rebellion formed the Kabataang Makabayan for its youth members to stage peaceful rallies against the government; however, it turned to terroristic activities over the years and it became the major source of recruits of the NPA.
He explained that the recruitment is a “deception process” that starts with the recruiter or spotter befriending a prospect and inviting them to join meetings, workshops and seminars where they identify the prospect’s strengths, weaknesses and interests.
From there, the recruit is encouraged to join different assemblies where they will be brain-washed by exposing them to social issues to slowly agitate them, then basic lessons for activism. Other related NPA teachings are also introduced.
The recruits will then become full-time activists, and among them are identified as potential candidate for the NPA.
After becoming a candidate member, the recruits will receive basic military course, and basic mass integration and organizational activities while they perform higher tasks such as agitating during rallies and protests, and coordinating with schools.For the CPP, it targets for recruitment are the youth sector, including students, out-of-school youths, young workers, young peasants, young teachers, young professionals, and all other major men and women who compose the majority of the population. SOVEREIGNPH