Press Release
November 29, 2023



Ladies and gentlemen, again, magandang umaga.

Jurisprudence provides that "as Parens Patriae, the State has the inherent right and duty to aid parents in the moral development of their children, and thus, assumes a supporting role for parents to fulfill their parental obligations."

In line with the Parens Patriae doctrine, during the 18th Congress, this Committee submitted its report regarding the issue involving the "missing minors", who were recruited by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front or the CPA-NPA-NDF. We heard the plight of the parents of those missing minors, as well as the testimonies of those returning rebels. Through the heads of the relevant departments and offices, we were given a complete picture of the entire recruitment process and how the vulnerability of our youth was being exploited.

Meanwhile, in 2020, the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 was enacted which effectively repealed the Human Security Act of 2007. This landmark legislation marked a significant milestone in the government's commitment to strengthen national security and protect the citizenry from terrorisms.

Sa kabila ng mga naging pagdinig patungkol sa missing minors at mga pag-rerecruit ng CPP-NPA-NDF at pagpasa ng bagong batas, nitong mga nakaraang araw, muling nakatanggap ang ating komite ng mga report hinggil sa pagpasok ng communist ideologies at recruitment efforts ng Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) sa loob ng mga eskwelahan.

Just four days ago, while the Congress was hosting the 31st Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum, it was reported that a former University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) student Jethro Isaac Ferrer who became a New People's Army (NPA) fighter was killed in an encounter with government troops in Gloria, Oriental Mindoro, authorities confirmed.[1]

[Sa] mga sunod-sunod na report ng pagkamatay ng mga dating estudyante na naging miyembro ng CPP-NPA-NDF sa mga engkwentro laban sa gobyerno at patuloy na mga reports ng "radicalization" ng mga kabataan sa mga eskwelahan, minabuti ng komite na magpatawag ng pagdinig.

This public hearing is called for, objectively: (1) to determine whether there was negligence on the part of schools, its administrators and teachers to exercise their special parental authority over the minor child under their supervision, instruction or custody; (2) to determine and address loopholes in the provisions in the Anti-Terrorism Act and other relevant laws; and (3) to revisit our policies geared towards countering the radical ideologies which often prey on the discontent and frustrations of our young students.

As we convene today, let us keep in mind our shared responsibilities to ensure that the laws and policies in place align with the principles of Parens Patriae. Let us proceed with a commitment to furthering the well-being of our youth. In the words of a former American President, "We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future."

Daghang salamat.


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