Revoking scholarships of militant students will violate constitutional rights — Guevarra
MANILA, Philippines — The revocation of scholarships given to “anti-government students,” which is being proposed by National Youth Commission (NYC) chair Ronald Cardema, is a violation of constitutional rights, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Wednesday.
“With all due respect, such a proposal, if adopted would effectively restrain the youth’s constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression,” Guevarra said.
“Those constitutional rights are interrelated and usually get infringed upon simultaneously (freedom of speech, expression and peaceful assembly). It is not per se illegal to support communism as an ideology,” he added.
Cardema, in a statement, specified the “anti-government” students as those linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front (NDF).
Guevarra said state universities and colleges should be proud of their students who speak out their stand on national issues.
“Our state universities and colleges, instead of taking it against the militant students by dropping them from the roll, should be proud that they are producing young people who are socially aware and concerned not only about themselves but also about the nation,” Guevarra added.
But it would be another matter if the students would support an armed and violent struggle against the government in pursuit of an ideology.
“Anyone who does so faces criminal liability and, in the case of students, sanctions from their own schools,” Guevarra said. /muf
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