Student activism okay, not communism — DILG

August 21, 2019

THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) yesterday said there is nothing wrong with student activism but it is the communist recruitment in schools that is worrying the government.

DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that student activism should be welcomed and encouraged in any democratic society as long as it is exercised within the bounds of law.

He pointed out that militant student organizations in the University of the Philippines (UP) however are missing the point when they claim that the government is planning “militarization” when in fact they in government wish to address communist recruitment in schools.

“We have no problem with student activism. In fact, there are many in government today who are former student activists and therefore understand the need to have youth who are critical thinkers,” he said.

Student activism is not wrong as it is constitutionally protected, he added.

But using youth idealism and dynamism to encourage armed rebellion against the State is completely unacceptable.

“When you use the democratic space provided by the Constitution as a front or excuse to recruit, train, and wage armed struggle against duly constituted authority, then that becomes a criminal act and must be prevented by the State,” Malaya said.

The DILG official said that criticism, protest and resistance are part and parcel of democratic politics and public space is provided for all dissident voices, particularly from a critical youth sector.

“But when the democratic space is used to wage war against our democratic way of life in order to impose a totalitarian Communist system on an unsuspecting public, that’s when the State needs to act,” Malaya said.

The claimed militarization and martial law in UP, he said, is a figment of the imagination on overdrive and again a classic Communist propaganda.

“Government is not the evil monster that you portray us to be. We are your parents, siblings, friends and countrymen who love our country as much as you do.

“Government was elected by the people and we have a responsibility to the public. We just want what’s best for the nation,” he added.