DILG chief believes NYC chief was ‘misquoted’ on remarks on scholars
MANILA, Philippines — Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año believes National Youth Commission (NYC) chair Ronald Cardema was only misquoted in reports that claimed he said scholarships of anti-government students should be revoked.
“Namisquote lang si Cardema kasi pag tiningnan niyo, binasa ko ulit ‘yung buong statement niya, ang sinabi naman doon, ‘rebellious.’ Ibig sabihin niya, ‘yung mga estudyante na may link dito sa New People’s Army (NPA) and fighting against the government,” Año told reporters on Thursday.
(Cardema was only misquoted because if you will look at it, and I read the statement again, what he said there was “rebellious.” He meant it only for students with link to the NPA and fighting against the government.)
“‘Yun ang ibig niyang sabihin. Namisquote lang siya but for students na nagrarally, that’s freedom of expression (That’s what he meant. He was only misquoted but for students joining rallies, that’s freedom of expression),” he said.
Año believes there is no problem if students engage in protests against government programs, but added that they should not “cross the line” by joining the NPA and planning to overthrow the government.
He said that authorities should instead monitor “underground organizations” of the communist movement, and not the students joining rallies.
The DILG chief also disagreed with those calling for Cardema to resign from his post, citing his achievements in his stint as chair of NYC.
“I want him to stay kasi tao lang naman ‘yun, nagkamali lang siguro siya dun sa pagkakabigay niya ng statement, but if you look at what he has done as chairman sa National Youth Commission, maganda ‘yung mga programa niya, lalo na ‘yung pagbabalik ng ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) na ina-advocate niya,” he said.
(I want him to stay because he’s just human. Maybe he was just wrong with how he delivered the statement, but if you will look at what he has done as chairman at the National Youth Commission, he has done a lot of good programs, especially the return of ROTC which he advocates.)
He said Cardema should instead “rectify” his statement for clarity, adding that “he should be more careful being a government official.” /je
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