MANILA - The interior and local government department's proposal to reinstate the anti-subversion law requires study, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement after Interior Secretary Eduardo Año called for the revival of the Anti-Subversion Act to counter the left's recruitment among the youth.
Some 1,000 young Filipinos are being recruited by communist rebels every year to become members of the New People's Army or or to lead student organizations, Año said in a report by state-run Philippine News Agency.
"Let’s see, that suggestion requires study also," Panelo told reporters.
"Di ko pa alam magiging opinion ni Presidente (I don't know what the opinion of the President will be), I will ask him. Ang concern ata nila yung mga batang narerecruit (I think their concern is the recruitment of the youth.)"
There is nothing wrong with the youth joining organizations to "express legitimate grievance against government," he said.
"If the left-leaning organization is found to be allied with organizations that are subversive of our democratic society then it becomes wrong and illegal," he said.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said joining communist party groups is not a crime "unless overt criminal acts are committed."
Panelo said government was "concerned" over parents' reports of their missing children after being allegedly recruited by leftist groups in school.
He, however, doubted that the presence of policemen in universities would deter recruitment of the youth, as earlier proposed by Sen. Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa.
Panelo advised parents to "tell their children that ideology has long passed and is passé and they should not entertain joining any kind of subversive organization for their own safety."