Kabataang Makabayan strengthens in universities

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The strengthening of various Kabataang Makabayan (KM) chapters in several key private and public universities in Metro Manila were successively announced recently. On November 30, they launched various activities to celebrate the 59th anniversary of their organization.

KM in the universities

The KM-Armando Mendoza announced on November 20 the re-establishment of their chapter on October 10. They held a discussion on the orientation and constitution of the KM, paid honor and tribute to the martyrs, planned activities and elected a new executive committee. The chapter was named after Armando Mendoza, a University of Santo Tomas student in the 1970s.

“At a time when the reactionaries are shameless in their crimes against and oppression of the Filipino people, KM’s response is still the people’s democratic revolution,” said the chapter.

At the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa, Manila, KM-Balangay Kira Mindoro members held a lightning rally on November 29. Before the rally, chapter members carried out OP-OD (oplan pinta-oplan dikit or operation graffiti and postering) inside the campus and painted the calls “Advance the people’s war!” “KM@59” and others.

Chapters of KM in the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman and UP-Los Baños also conducted OP-OD in their campuses. The KM-Eduardo Aquino chapter posted announcements around the campus of UP-Manila about its establishment last November. KM revitalization in another private university and a state university in Metro Manila for the last half of the year was also reported.

Issues of the youth

KM’s role within the universities and colleges is key to encourage the youth to take the path of the people’s democratic revolution and advance mass struggles. In Ang Bayan’s interview with Rose, a KM member at a university in Cavite, she said oppressive conditions in their school persist. She said that these are some of the issues that arouse the patriotic spirit of the youth.

“The government’s funding for the basic needs of students is unfair,” Rose said. They complain of severe shortages of classrooms and facilities affecting class schedules and the quality of teaching.

University fees are burdensome for someone like her despite free tuition. Her family’s meager monthly income of ₱15,000 is not enough to support her education and family expenses. Rose added, the state of education in the country is far from the proper service she expects.

KM to the people’s army

These problems and issues encouraged Ka Andrea to leave the university and join the New People’s Army (NPA).

She said she witnessed the inaction to such issues under the current rotten system and government and the limitations of struggling within the prevailing system. “They (reactionary government officials) are indifferent to the legitimate calls of the people.” She knows armed resistance will achieve a society that will truly respond to the needs of the youth.

Before she took up arms, Ka Andrea participated in organizing KM among young farmers. “Even when there was a threat of military encampment and state surveillance in our organizing, we successfully built the KM chapter in the area, we moved with caution and secrecy.”

In the NPA, she has assisted well in the unit’s formation of a municipality-level chapter of KM in its area of responsibility. They had 50 youth from 12 barangays attend the gathering. “The youth who attended were full of hope and enthusiasm. That was my first experience in building a large KM chapter at a higher level,” she said.

Kabataang Makabayan strengthens in universities