National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Guillermo Eleazar said the CHED oversees colleges and universities in the country, adding the government agency could have monitored alleged recruitment activities of communist groups among students.
Edd Gumban/File
Police to seek CHED guidance over ‘Red October’ universities
Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - October 7, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Police will seek guidance from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on what action to take against the 18 universities and colleges tagged by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the communist plot to oust President Duterte.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Guillermo Eleazar said the CHED oversees colleges and universities in the country, adding the government agency could have monitored alleged recruitment activities of communist groups among students.

Eleazar stressed the police need help from CHED to reach out to the students. 

“After our consultations with the CHED, from there, we will determine what we can do to reach out to the students,” he added. 

The AFP recently revealed the list of universities and colleges where communists allegedly are recruiting students for mass actions and protests to join the “Red October” plot to oust Duterte.

Student organizations and civic groups slammed the military for tagging educational institutions as a sort of breeding ground for communists.

The Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) also accused the police of harassing hospital union leaders in linking them to the Red October plot. 

AHW president Robert Mendoza said the PNP is using the “dirty tactics of sowing fear and terror” among the group’s union members and officers. 

“The group strongly condemns the PNP’s bold attempts to cower anyone they suspect or fancy to be anti-government,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza said on Sept. 28, two men in civilian clothes who introduced themselves as government intelligence agents paid a visit to the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center Employees Union office inside the hospital building.

He claimed the men “grilled” a union officer about the group’s activities and involvement. The two men returned on Oct. 3.

The AHW said the same men visited the employees union office of Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital on the same day.

“We believe that what PNP did endangers the lives and security of our union members and leaders. This is an affront to health workers’ rights,” Mendoza complained.  

He added the AHW is now concerned over efforts to “suppress all forms of opposition to the government. “

“Fighting for health workers’ rights and welfare is a right. Forming workers union is a right and it is legal,” Mendoza stressed.

He added the AHW is anticipating escalated threats and harassments by military and police agents to “paralyze individuals and organizations who are critical of anti-worker and anti-people policies.”  

Eleazar, on the other hand, said the NCRPO will look into the AHW’s complaint.

Eleazar said he has yet to get all the details on the reported harassment of AHW members by policemen.

Eleazar, however, stressed visitations of police officers should not be misconstrued as a form of intimidation.

“Our police officers can go anywhere and ask questions,” he said.

Eleazar said there is nothing wrong if police officers will just ask some questions to get information.

Eleazar assured the AHW that it should not be worried if they have not committed any offense.

“Why would they be afraid when police officers only want to talk to them,” he said. –  With Emmanuel Tupas, Sheila Crisostomo, Gilbert Bayoran

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION RED OCTOBER
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