It has been almost 52 years now the problem and threat posed by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New Peoples’ Army (NPA), are still sowing fear in the country resulting in the loss of lives of countless number of rebels, soldiers and civilians.
As the military ran after the CPP-NPA , which is now tagged as the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG), many members of the group especially the young or teenagers are either getting killed or caught while some opted to surrender. With this statistics, one may ask how come there are teenagers in their ranks? How do they recruit their members?
A certain Cindy Ramos, a former rebel, came to shed light on the NPA recruitment in the latest “Talakayan sa PIA: ELCAC Series with the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA)-10.
“I was a student before, it was in our school where they connected with me. I was invited to join the League of Filipino Students (LFS),” Cindy said adding that it was the time when there was an issue of tuition fee increase.
“Since I was still young and easily swayed by the ideology injected in me – especially when you are in the age between 16 to 18 – that is why I joined them. At first, I thought they were just like other organizations, but underneath was an underground organization of the youth and students sector which is the Kabataang Makabayan (KM),” she declared.
Since Cindy became active in the activities of the group and was given indoctrination about Marxism, Leninism, and Maoism, she became a member of the KM or Kabataang Makabayan. The KM, she said, is directly connected with the armed group by giving financial, logistical and cadre support in the countryside.
“It was during summertime when I was invited to join a community immersion somewhere in an indigenous people community. That was the time I met the NPAs and became a full-time member of the movement in the countryside,” Cindy shared.
During those times at her very young age, she thought that joining the NPA is an expression of nationalism since it was the propaganda injected into her by the CTG: to serve the people through revolution and destroy the government to establish a new system.
Four years had passed since joining the group, Cindy became a political officer of the CPP-NPA and became one of the leaders. While with the group, she observed hypocrisy inside the revolutionary movement contrary to the propaganda that the group is spreading.
“I saw corruption in the organization, the very thing that they want eradicated in the government. They said they want that the country will achieve real democracy but even in the organizational line of the CPP-NPA, which is the democratic centralism I could see that each individual has no freedom because everything you do must conform to the dictates from the higher organ. And I have seen a lot more,” she maintained.
As time passed by, Cindy realized that the ideologies of Marxism, Leninism, and Maoism are all failed ideologies. Historically, countries that used the said systems have not prospered economically. She also cited China as an example in which it used to be communist country before and people experienced hunger. When China changed its system, its economy boomed.
“This is the realization that I want to share to everyone, especially the youth and student sectors who are the most vulnerable to CTG targets: do not hold on to that ideology (Marxism-Leninism-Maoism) because history tells that it is a failed ideology. It is not our country nor other countries as well. That is the reason why I left the armed movement,” she said
After eight years in the armed group, Cindy returned to the folds of the law and enjoys her life in mainstream society through Executive Order No. 70 that seeks to end local communist armed conflict.
“I have wasted eight years of my life. Instead of using it to help the government, I had used it to help the other side (CTG) that had not given any benefits to our country, and this is what I want the youth to realize to avoid wasting their own lives for a failed cause,” Cindy appealed. (JAKA/PIA10)