Several universities in Manila have condemned on Thursday, the military’s allegation that communists are using universities as recruitment ground for an alleged plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Carlito Galvez, said this at a Senate hearing on the military budget on Tuesday in Manila.
Galvez alleged that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has joined up with Duterte’s political opponents to organise students in Manila universities for a plot called “Red October.’’
[penci_blockquote style=”style-2″ align=”none” author=””]“Such a statement undermines the safety and security of the students of Emilio Aguinaldo College as they are now looked upon as possible communists or rebels,” Emilio Aguindaldo College, one of the universities on the list, said in a statement.[/penci_blockquote]
Both the CCP and Duterte’s critics have, however, denied the accusations.
The military released a list of 18 universities allegedly recruiting students and claimed that the communists were showing the students a video which projects Duterte as a dictator.
“Such a statement undermines the safety and security of the students of Emilio Aguinaldo College as they are now looked upon as possible communists or rebels,” Emilio Aguindaldo College, one of the universities on the list, said in a statement.
The University of Makati said its administration had no knowledge of any recruitment efforts by the communists within the school.
Amid the schools’ denials, military spokesman, Gen. Edgard Arevalo said that the military firmly believes that some schools have been used for recruitment, while other schools in the list are being targeted.
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The Commission on Human Rights (CHR), a government agency, on Thursday released a statement criticising the military.
“This blanket act of red-tagging endangers students and the youth and it may give the AFP a license to arbitrarily infringe on the freedom of expression, the right to petition government, as well as to assembly,” CHR said.