DON'T FALL PREY. The Commision on Higher Education (CHED) regional office in Tacloban City. An official of CHED in Eastern Visayas on Thursday (August 22, 2019) asked tertiary students to examine the fate of their peers who joined the communist terrorist group.(PNA file photo)

TACLOBAN CITY — An official of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in Eastern Visayas has asked tertiary students to examine the fate of their peers who joined the communist terrorist group.

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) regional director George Colorado on Thursday expressed puzzlement as to why some students are inclined to join the rebellion if those who were recruited perished in the mountains.

“I don’t understand why our young people join the insurgency and they can’t learn from what happened to those who joined rebellion who suffered hunger, sickness, or even death. You can choose a better life for your family instead of going to the mountains to fight the government,” Colorado told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

The official said young people have the option to work, provide the needs of their families, become productive citizens or lead a horrible life in the mountains.

“Even those who live near the stores experience hunger. Imagine life in the mountain fleeing from soldiers,” he added.

The official said it’s high time for school officials and parents to work together to prevent students from falling prey to the recruitment schemes of communist rebels through left-leaning organizations.

“The youth are vulnerable if they are fed up with hopelessness and disappointments from the actions of corrupt officials. If they can’t handle it emotionally, they join anti-government movements, but they end up as losers because they don’t know how to overcome life’s challenges,” Colorado said.

“When they get older and become professionals, they are more concerned about economic stability than joining anti-government groups,” he added.

He urged school officials to counter NPA recruitment activities through heightened security measures, teaching ethics, and instill discipline and patriotism.

“The schools have freedom in their operations. It’s their call to create well-rounded characters of students,” Colorado told PNA.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines earlier asked the entire nation to condemn the efforts of the communist rebels to infiltrate the youth and student sectors as part of their initiative to recruit more members for their cause.

The NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is considered as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)