(Manila) A spokesman for the Communist Part of the Philippines (CPP) released a statement earlier this week accusing certain educational institutions of deliberately scheduling their commencement exercises to coincide with the anniversary of the founding of the New People’s Army (NPA).
In the statement that was released online last Monday, CPP spokesman Felicano Jaudenes claimed that “the Filipino people would have been more outspoken in their support for the people’s war if they hadn’t been busy attending graduation ceremonies.”
While the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the umbrella organization of the national democratic movement to which both CPP and NPA belong, celebrated the anniversary of the people’s army in the Netherlands, the event was hardly noticed in the Philippines.
Instead, social media was abuzz with comments, photos and notes about graduating students from kindergarten to grade seven, high school seniors and even college graduates.
“I AM A BACHELOR (OF ARTS), BITCHES!” one graduate wrote to caption an Instagram post that garnered zero likes.
“First tweet after grad: thanks to God, my family, teachers and friends. #SoBlessed” tweeted another graduate.
The celebration online was not limited to graduates either with a fair number of social media posts coming from proud parents.
The NPA was founded in 1969 following the reestablishment of the CPP from the older Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) in 1968. This year marks 45 years of what CPP founder calls a protracted people’s war.
Among the schools cited by the CPP for holding graduation rites coinciding with the NPA anniversary are Tools for Tots Pre-School, First Steps Learning Center, Little Sheep Elementary, and Sunflower Seeds Pre-School.
“It is a sad reality that these kindergarteners are already reformist piglets at such a young age.” the CPP statement said.
Almost all administrators from the schools mentioned by the CPP have declined to respond to the accusation except for First Steps Learning Center Principal Agnes Malapatan who responded via SMS with the message: “No.”