The Daily Manila Shimbun


AFP will deploy unarmed soldiers to schools to protect students from being recruited by leftists

August 20, 2019

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to deploy unarmed soldiers to schools "soon".

Col. Noel Detoyato, AFP public affairs chief, said there is a plan to deploy soldiers to selected schools to protect students from being recruited by leftist  groups.

"It's not just a suggestion from the military. It was also pushed by the local government unit because recruitment at schools are very rampant. So it is a way of checking in coordination with local authorities," he said.

"It's just an internal agreement between departments, Department of National Defense and the Department of Education. Our intention is in order to stop  the recruitment and corruption of our students" he added.

Detoyato said the military will only deploy its soldiers in schools that are suspected to be breeding grounds of New People's Army (NPA).

"If there is no need for our deployment then we will not go there... we will just be there to at least if we are needed there, we will be there to assist the school authorities to neutralize reported intrusion within their schools," he said.

"We are not against activism, as long as it will not transition to extremism and terrorism...  we are not singling out any particular university, we will deploy where we are needed," he added.

Detoyato added that soldiers who will be deployed in schools will not be armed.

" It's not a deployment for combat operation," he said.

"It;s like civil military operations. Like when I was a battalion commander we go to schools based on invitation of principals to interact with the students," he noted.

"The best way to combat a man with the wrong information is a man with the right information. So information is what we are going to bring. Ee just want to inform them so that they will not be victimized by deceitful recruitment," he added. Robina Asido/DMS