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Viscom chief: CPP-NPA preying on young minds

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The Armed Forces of the Philippines Visayas Command (VISCOM) branded the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army “a menace and a predator who preys on young minds,” following the confirmation that one five rebels killed in the recent armed encounter in Brgy. Campagao, Bilar, Bohol was a young lawyer from Cebu.

Hannah Jay Cesista aka Maya and Lean, one of the five NPA rebels who died in an armed encounter with 47th Infantry Battalion troopers and policemen on February 23, is the latest addition to the long list of victims of the CPP-NPA’s deception whose bright futures were wasted, fighting for the terrorist group’s selfish interest and false cause, disclosed VISCOM chief Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo.

Arevalo expressed his sadness at the loss of another Filipino bright mind, and his disgust for the terrorist group.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Hannah Jay, she could have been a good practicing lawyer, if not for the deception of the CPP-NPA. The CPP-NPA is indeed a menace and a mindless predator who preys on young minds in our country,” he stressed.

Hannah Jay is from Catubig, Northern Samar. She studied her preparatory course for law at the University of the Philippines – Cebu and completed her law degree at the University of San Carlos.

Cesista, according to a statement issued by VISCOM,  became a lawyer after passing the 2022 BAR Exam. At the same time, she was an active member of Anakbayan Cebu, Karapatan Central Visayas, and later the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), and became a ‘full-time’ member of the CPP-NPA in 2023.

“May this serve as a lesson to our youth and the parents as well. Let us be very vigilant in the activities of our children and the groups or organizations that they join,” Arevalo said.

Two of the three NPA fatalities in the February 21 armed encounter in Escalante City, Negros Occidental, were also minors when they were recruited by the CPP-NPA, according to Lt. Col J Jay Javines, Civil Military Operations chief of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.

Arevalo pointed out that the threat of CPP-NPA’s destructive recruitment of youth is real.

“The terrorist group cares for nothing and will value nothing, not even the welfare of their members. They will just use our children as a sacrificial lamb to foster their hideous agenda,” he further stressed.*

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