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UST denounces AFP’s commie tag

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Wednesday denounced its inclusion in the list of educational institutions that were tagged by the military as alleged breeding grounds of the leftist-communist movement in a plot to oust the Duterte administration.

Rev. Jesus Miranda, O.P., UST secretary-general, dared the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to prove its allegations before dragging the instution in its claims of a supposed “Red October” plot to unseat President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Baka naman stereotyping lang nila ‘yan or because we are a Catholic university and there is a perception that we are against the present government. Is that why we are being tagged?” Miranda said in a statement posted on the student paper Varsitarian.

Mark Anthony Abenir, director of UST Simbahayan, told the student publication that the military’s “red-tagging” must have been the result of recent activities of UST especially the school’s participation in protests against strongman rule.

“All student mobilizations undergo proper screening and approval. We do not work with CPP-NPA for that matter, nor have we discussed any concerns with the government,” said Abenir.

UST is among the schools where the communist rebel group was supposedly recruiting members based on the information of the military.

AFP assistant deputy chief for operations Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade earlier revealed that leftist leaders Rey Casambre and Satur Ocampo are allegedly leading the alliance to topple the present government.

Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago said Parlade’s claims are “outrageous.”

“He made the outrageous claim of recruitment through martial law screenings. Are film showings part of destabilization now?” said Elago.