NYC chair clarifies: Scholars may call for Duterte resignation, join protests
MANILA, Philippines — Contrary to some reports, government scholars may join street protests or even call for President Rodrigo Duterte’s resignation.
National Youth Commission (NYC) chair Ronald Cardema said this on Wednesday as he clarified news reports, he was calling for the removal of government scholarships of students joining anti-government protests.
The news drew criticisms from various sectors,including some senators. Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero even called for Cardema’s resignation.
But Cardema said his statement only called for the removal of scholarships of “rebellious anti-government scholars.”
“Never did I say that all government scholars. Never did I say na all street protesters will be removed from their scholarships,” he told reporters at the Senate.
“Thank you for the opportunity. I’m correcting this because my statement was to ask President Duterte to issue an executive order to study the government scholarships being given to anti-govt scholars na nagre-rebelde na, na sumusuporta sa New People’s Army (NPA). Kung hndi naman sila sumusuporta sa NPA, anong poblema?,” he added.
The NYC chief maintained his position that students who are already joining forces planning to overthrow the government or those who are allied with NPA should not be given scholarships.
“So majority of the government scholars, majority of street protesters, kahit mag-rally kayo laban sa Pangulo, laban sa NYC, walang problema. That’s part of democracy,” he stressed.
Cardema nevertheless apologized to senators, who may have been fed with wrong information about his statement.
“Sirs, sorry po dahil ang sinabi ko ay tanggalan ng government scholarship ‘yun lang mga government scholars na nagre-rebelde at sumasali sa NPA,” he said.
Even students who are allied with left-leaning groups like Akbayan Youth may continue to rally against the President
“Kahit pag-resign-in n’yo ako, pag-resign-in n’yo ang Pangulo, labanan n’yo, you’re only voicing your opinion. That’s part of democracy wala pong problema dito,” Cardema further said. /kga
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