MANILA - Some parents of students enrolled in schools linked to the "Red October" protest asked the military to look into possible "brainwashing activities" inside the campuses, the military chief of staff said Friday.
The military earlier alleged that some 18 Metro Manila schools were tapped by communists to recruit students who will join the massive "Red October" protest against President Rodrigo Duterte.
"May nag-text sa amin ang mga magulang. Sabi: 'Sir pakitingnan ito para silang bine-brainwash,'" Armed Forces Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez said in an interview on DZMM.
(Some parents texted us and said, "Sir, please check these activities. It seems our children are being brainwashed.)
The military is "validating" initial reports that some schools showed "indications" that some of its students are plotting against the government, Galvez said.
The propaganda that there is a "looming dictatorship" under Duterte is delivered to the students through film showings and plays in the campus, he said.
"Nakikita natin na parang they are branding the government. May dramatization na 'yung martial law nung Marcos regime, then they associated it to the current administration," the AFP chief said.
(We saw that they were branding the government. There are dramatizations about the martial law under the Marcos regime, then they would associate it to the current administration.)
Galvez admitted that the military committed "many abuses during the 1972 declaration of martial law," but assured the public that the institution has "changed a lot."
"It's very unfair for us. 'Yung tinatawag nating martial law ngayon, pinag-iigi namin," he said.
(It's very unfair for us. We are really doing our best to implement the martial law we have now [in Mindanao]).
"Nakita natin during the Marawi crisis, we declared martial law Mindanao-wide. Talagang 'yung rules of engagement, 'yung human rights talagang we are promoting it," he said.
(During the Marawi crisis, we declared martial law Mindanao-wide. We really promoted the rules of engagement and human rights.)
The AFP will set a meeting with the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education to discuss how to take action on the alleged communist recruitment in schools.
"Kung ano ang dapat gawin ay isasaayos namin (We will do what needs to be done)," he said.
Some student councils and organizations earlier denied allegations that they were being recruited by communists to join an ouster plot against Duterte.