Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, formerly Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s national police chief who oversaw the bloody War on Drugs, has a new mission. This time, he’s going after alleged communist guerilla recruiters.

During the 2020 national budget hearing for state colleges and universities in the country, the senator confronted the president of the University of the Philippines (UP), Danilo Concepcion, for sitting back while the students were being recruited into the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). He reprimanded the university administrator for allowing the institution to be involved in “producing enemies of the state”.

Although Concepcion stood his ground by emphasising the importance of academic freedom on campus, this isn’t the first time the Philippine state has raised the issue of young people joining rebel fighters. 

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Michael Beltran

Michael Beltran is a freelance journalist from the Philippines.