Duterte Youth exposes self as ‘mere mouthpiece parroting Duterte regime’s attacks on dissent’ — solon
MANILA, Philippines — “A mere mouthpiece parroting Duterte regime’s attacks against dissent.”
This was how Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago described Duterte Youth Partylist after its representative, Ducielle Cardema, sought an investigation on the alleged recruitment of the New People’s Army (NPA) through civic and campus organizations.
Elago said the filing of House Resolution No. 1293, the first resolution filed by Cardema as a member of the lower chamber, did not come as a surprise.
The Kabataan lawmaker said that instead of pushing for funds to help the youth in the health, education, and labor sector amid the deliberations on the 2021 budget, the Duterte Youth Partylist put first a “witch hunt.”
“Ilang beses nang ginamit ang ganitong usapin para patahimikin, gipitin ang mga organisasyon ng mga kabataan at atakihin ang academic freedom. Halatang wala itong alam at pakialam sa kalagayan ng mga kabataan,” Elago said in a text message to INQUIRER.net.
“Duterte Youth further reveals itself as a mere mouthpiece parroting the Duterte regime’s attacks against dissent and the exercise of the rights of youth in the fight against abuse, corruption and tyranny,” she added.
Detached from social realities
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) also opposed Cardema’s resolution, saying the move to look into “youth recruitment of NPA” in campuses and youth organizations, “clearly shows how they are detached from youth struggles.”
“Duterte Youth is detached from social realities. Their audacity to claim that they represent the youth is nothing but a stunt; clearly, they do not represent the struggles faced by Filipino youth today,” said CEGP national president Daryl Angelo Baybado.
“We currently have problems in ensuring safe, accessible, and quality education amid pandemic, lack of socio-economic response, and failure to have concrete steps to contain Covid-19—none of which are a priority of fake and unregistered Duterte Youth,” added Baybado.
Baybado added that the Duterte Youth Partylist “does not serve the youth” and that it only “exists to serve as a mouthpiece for Duterte’s fascist regime.”
The CEGP then called on the youth to make their voices heard, saying that the resolution is “nothing but a cosmic joke to all our fallen and fighting youth leaders.”
“The Duterte government should know better. If Duterte and his cronies have the least amount of respect for this country, they must rescind this proclamation now,” said Baybado.
In the resolution, Cardema claimed that the NPA is using “non-NPA-named front organizations” for its recruitment efforts specifically targeted towards the youth.
She argued that the purported NPA recruitment is meant “to reinforce their ranks for communist terrorist activities.”
Cardema, however, clarified that the investigation is not targeted towards organizations “that are simply opposing or criticizing the government.” [ac]
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