Elago to AFP: Are film showings part of destabilization efforts?
Amid allegations from the military that some universities and colleges in Metro Manila are now being organized by the communists to help oust President Rodrigo Duterte, Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago on Thursday asked if allowing students to watch film showings could be considered an effort to destabilize the government.
Elago was referring to the statement of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Deputy Assistant Chief for Operations Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. who said that at least 18 schools in Metro Manila are now being organized by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to join the alleged plot to oust the President.
“In addition, he (Parlade) made the outrageous claim of recruitment through martial law screenings. Are film showings part of destabilization now?” she asked.
On Wednesday, Parlade said films about human rights abuses under the late President Ferdinand Marcos were being shown to encourage students to rebel against the government in a so-called “Red October” plot.
According to him, references between Marcos and the President were being made along with calls for the resurgence of the First Quarter Storm, or the massive protests that marked the early part of Marcos’ two-decade rule.
Elago stressed that the demands of the student movement are based on realistic issues.
“The demands of the student movement that the AFP is fixating itself on are legitimate — free education, genuine agrarian reform, industrialization, increasing prices of basic goods,” the lawmaker explained.
“The government’s reaction, instead of addressing these pressing issues, is to use its armed machinery to quell the growing resistance of the youth, through normalization of fear and threats, warrantless arrests, harassment of students and student organizations, and faking an ouster conspiracy to declare martial law,” she added.
The President has stated in numerous occasions that communist rebels are working with the opposition, specifically the Liberal Party and the Magdalo group, to unseat him. The concerned parties have already denied his accusations. /muf
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