VP and Dep-ed Sec. Sara Duterte as NTF-ELCAC official, threat to academic freedom anew

This article is available in Pilipino

Sara Duterte has the temerity to wave the threat of closure against schools they assume to have revolutionary connections when there is a glaring shortage of educational facilities in the country. She has the nerve to prioritize red-tagging, attacking and suppressiong the people rather than address immediate matters in the eduational sector such as the problem with teachers’ wages, corruption, academic calendar and others.

After her appointment as co-vice chair of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Duterte wasted no time in plying the education sector with suppression and militarization. She uses her position to further push military authority over the academe.

Even before this, not less than 115 schools have already been forcibly closed due to the arbitrary and unjust linking of these establishments with the revolutionary movement. In Masbate, Marcos has also already issued the directive of militarizing the schools through the Task Force Sagip. Meanwhile, cases of threats, harassments and illegal arrests against progressive Bikolano students and youth leaders have also been reported in the past years.

NDF-Bikol firmly believes that these maneuvers spell another threat to academic freedom and the rights of students, teachers and academic workers. These flagrantly infringe on the academics’ civil rights and wrongfully criminalizes the people’s fundamental rights. The rampant red-tagging and accusations directed towards legitimate entities such as schools expose them to undue violence, attacks and violations of rights and liberties.

Just like their dictator fathers, the Marcos-Duterte tandem wants nothing else but to suppress the Filipino people’s struggle against the rotten semicolonial and semifeudal system. Also, the astounding amount they put into their senseless counterinsurgency campaign serves as additional corruption funds that fascists can dip their hands into.

To battle this, a more fortified unity amongst all progressive and democratic forces within and outside the academe is of utmost importance. They must be daring in fighting and opposing all oppressive policies that further deprive the Filipino youth of adequate education.

VP and Dep-ed Sec. Sara Duterte as NTF-ELCAC official, threat to academic freedom anew