MANILA – The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) has denounced an allegation by a military official that the university was a hotbed of communist recruitment.
“The PLM administration is not aware of any recruitment by the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army) on campus nor had it been previously advised by the authorities of such activities,” PLM President Emmanuel Leyco said late Sunday in a Facebook post.
Leyco said the claims made by Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, who serves as spokesperson for the government’s anti-communist insurgency task force, are an “insult” to the PLM community, especially to students “who are being prepared to join the country’s future leaders in business, government and civil society.”
“This allegation is a serious disservice to the men and women of the PLM and comes at a very bad time when its faculty, students and staff are struggling with the challenges of online education,” Leyco said.
“Such distraction in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is indeed reprehensible,” he added.
Over the weekend, Parlade named 18 colleges and universities, mostly based in Metro Manila, that allegedly serve as recruitment havens for the communist insurgency.
The Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Far Eastern University and University of Santo Tomas have also refuted Parlade’s accusation.
The statements come after the Department of National Defense unilaterally abrogated an agreement with the University of the Philippines (UP) regulating police and military operations inside UP campuses.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the 1989 pact has been used by the CPP and NPA as a “shield” for their on-campus recruitment, an allegation denied by UP authorities and other members of the community.
In 2018, Parlade claimed 18 schools in Manila were tapped by communists to join the alleged “Red October” plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.