Lacson, Dr. Padilla speak up against the ‘indoctrination’ of students by hardcore political gurus

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Political noise has entered the classrooms and this made students more confused about which information to trust because, they said, some of their teachers are getting “too political” to the extent that they could no longer tell the difference whether they are still being ‘educated’ or ‘indoctrinated.’

A female student from Naga City, Camarines Sur forwarded this concern to presidential candidate Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson and senatorial aspirant Dr. Minguita Padilla during their town hall meeting in the province, Friday (April 29), to seek their advice on how they should deal with it.

Lacson and Dr. Padilla told her they themselves had personal experiences about getting indoctrinated by their own teachers that went as far as them being recruited to join the terrorist organization Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA).

“Nasa PMA (Philippine Military Academy) kami. Mayroon kaming isang professor, opisyal ‘yon. Tuwing papasok sa aming classroom, sasabihin niya: ‘Okay, cadets, you close your books.’ Gagawin niya mag-i-indoctrinate. Walang ginawa kundi mag-politicize,” Lacson recalled.

[When we were in the PMA (Philippine Military Academy), we had this professor—an official—every time he entered our classroom, he would say: ‘Okay, cadets, you close your books.’ And then he would begin indoctrinating. He did nothing else but to politicize.]

Lacson said he was referring to retired brigadier general Victor Corpus, the former chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), who was their instructor in the subject “Law 411.”

To recall, Corpus was also the one who spearheaded a massive disinformation campaign against Lacson under the orders of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which the former later on retracted with a public apology to the senator.

Lacson also revealed that Corpus once ‘ransacked’ the armory of the PMA and brought weapons to the NPA. He said this happened sometime in December when the students were coming off a holiday break.

“Totoo ‘to, totoong nangyari. Kasi nagulat kami, pabalik na kami from December break, bakit ang daming checkpoint sa Kennon Road? Ang daming checkpoint sa daanan. ‘Yun pala ni-raid na niya ‘yung armory ng PMA. Kinuha ‘yung mga baril at tuluyang namundok na siya,” Lacson said.

[This is true, this really happened. Because we were surprised, we were returning from a December break, how come there were too many checkpoints along Kennon Road? It turned out he (Corpus) raided the PMA armory. He took the guns and headed to the mountains.]

Dr. Padilla, for her part, shared her experience with a high school teacher—a nun, for that matter, because she was studying in a Catholic school—who tried to recruit her to join the CPP-NPA. She was brought to a clinic and had no idea that a meeting between undercover communists was going on.

In case they encounter similar situations, Lacson advised the youth to immediately bring it to the attention of authorities from the Department of Education (DepEd), who are in the best position to handle these matters.

“Kailangan maiwasan natin ‘yon. Kung mayroong mga indikasyon, maliwanag na indikasyon, na ‘yung isang guro sa halip na ituro ‘yung kanyang subject na ituturo (ay) lumilihis lang at nag-po-politicize lang, mas maganda i-report niyo kaagad sa pinakamalapit—sa regional director man ng Department of Education—para maaksyunan kaagad,” Lacson said.

[We need to avoid it. If there is indication, clear indication that the teacher, instead of teaching his subject matter has been deviating from it and is only trying to politicize (the students), you better report it to the nearest (authority)—perhaps the regional director of the Department of Education—so they can take appropriate actions.]

And while they understand that all discussions happening inside the classrooms are protected by freedom of expression, Dr. Padilla said it behooves any educator to check his or his own biases, especially when they are teaching history to students.

“Okay lang pag-usapan (ang pulitika), kailangan pag-usapan, kasi part ng free talk. (Pero) hindi mo pwedeng sabihin sa estudyante (na) basta, ito masama itong presidente, hindi pwedeng ganoon. So, that should be against the rules na dapat siguro maliwanagan,” according to the senatorial aspirant.

[It is okay to talk about it (politics), we need to discuss it because it is part of free talk. (But) you cannot tell students that this one, this is a bad president just because, you can’t do that. So, that should be against the rules that we probably need to clarify.]

“Kasi ‘yon ang problema natin e. Kulang tayo sa (konteksto ng) kasaysayan, kulang tayo sa pananaw sa kasaysayan, at ang gulo-gulo natin as a people… How (the) teachers should teach? They should teach history pero hindi biased ‘yung teaching, ‘di ba?” Dr. Padilla added.

[Because that is our problem. We lack (context) when it comes to our history, we lack perspectives with respect to our history, and we are chaotic as a people… How should teachers teach? They should teach history but their teaching must not be biased, right?]