Getting an all-round education:

Out of the classrooms and into the streets

to participate in protest rallies during the National Day of Action for Education

 

July 16, 2010

 

 

Anakbayan posting on the July 16 National Day of Action for Education

 

 

 

   

As thousands of youths nationwide hit the streets today for what has been dubbed a ‘National Day of Action for Education’, Anakbayan national vice-chairperson Anton Dulce summed up the 16-day old administration of Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino with the four previously-mentioned letters.

The youth group Anakbayan, which includes in its ranks working youth and out-of-school youth, had earlier challenged Aquino to make education accessible for all Filipinos, as well as providing more employment and livelihood opportunities for the youth. Among the measures specifically mentioned by the group which they said were ‘doable’ in the first 100 days of the Administration are:

 

- A tuition freeze order covering all colleges and universities nationwide
- The reallocation of emergency funds for the education sector
- Initiation of the process to scrap the Value Added Tax, Oil Deregulation Law, and the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA)
- Explicit orders to Congress to fast-track the passage of the legislated P125 wage hike
- A review of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension (CARPER)
 

/p

/p

Photos courtesy of  Sarah Raymundo (pix prefixed SR),  Paul Gallego (prefixed PG),

Carl Marc Ramota (prefixed CMR)  and ASAP-KATIPUNAN (prefixed ASAP)

           
           


Youth On The March

by Jose Maria Sison

(Published in the Philippines Free Press, November 2, 1968)

A NATION that does not continuously renew itself through progressive-minded and militant youth cannot possibly advance. A world of timid and apathetic youth will merely feed all the regimes of injustice and exploitation with a constant flow of manpower for exploited labor and cannon fodder for unjust wars. Even a revolutionary society, say, a socialist one, would stagnate and be thereafter corrupted if the process of renewal and of continuous revolution is neglected or deliberately held back.

It is in the very nature of the world and of history that while there are youth who question and fight the outdated order, striving to build a new system or reach a new stage of development in which they stand to gain.

The problem of succession through the youth is common to both reactionaries and revolutionaries. The reactionaries strive to preserve an educational and cultural system that molds the thinking and behavior patterns of the youth in a conservative way. The true revolutionaries work to make all parts of their superstructure correspond to the mode of existence of their society. Just as reactionaries zealously try to preserve a heritage of exploitation, the true revolutionaries look after their successors in the march towards greater social progress.

The youth are divisible into two conflicting sides of history, each side trying to influence the apathetics in the middle sections of the political spectrum. It is necessary to recognize that the youth, more than their elders, are more receptive to what is new and progressive.

This receptiveness is sharply seen in crises, when the old ruling classes and the old authorities no longer can rule the old way and resist change. As the crisis ripens, a youthful movement and leadership inevitably emerges with the new ideology, the new political program and the new course of action. No matter what social class ascends to replace the old ruling class, it relies on the ever expanding adherence of the youth to what is new and progressive. Even the youth in self-satisfied centers of learning in the Establishment raise the banner of change.

We are living today in a world of crises, marked by rapid emergence of the new and rabid resistance of the old. Never has the world been so shaken as now. The forces of socialism and national liberation are striking down the ramparts of imperialism and local reactionary power with global sweep. We are in the midst of radical choice.

We are in a world where old verities and old structures are the target of angry yet positive, critical but constructive, mass actions of the youth and the people.

"To rebel is justified!" is the battle cry of the youth of China. There the youth came to be known the world over as the Red Guards. Millions mobilized all over China and, because of our proximity to China, we could almost hear the sound of their marches. Supported by the masses, they brought down the bourgeois academic authorities (reactionary teachers and administrators) and demanded a change in the educational system. Again, together with the masses, the Red Guards gathered enough strength to topple down degenerate government and party officials taking the capitalist road.

Where but in their own schools did the Red Guards start their great proletarian cultural revolution? They saw their schools reflecting society incorrectly. They acted to rectify the irresponsiveness of schools and school authorities to the needs and demands of workers and peasants. At the University of Peking, the whole earth-shaking phenomenon called the great proletarian cultural revolution started with big posters denouncing the highly-placed miscreants.

From the confines of academic walls, the youth took to the streets to muster support from the masses of the people. Soon, because of the relationship between school and society, the masses saw the point of the ReD Guards. The Chinese youth became, in the May 4th Movement, a vanguard force of enlightenment, arousing not only their own new generation but the broad masses of the people. They could have been easily pushed back by the reactionaries but for the overwhelming support of the masses who themselves fully participated in the most extensive democracy and mass learning ever witnessed by mankind.

What the Red Guards did in China also transpired in France, United States, West Germany, Italy, Brazil, Uruguay, and Mexico. The youth form a progressive force and subsequently strive to merge with the masses on the basis of basic popular demands against U.S. imperialism and the various stripes of local reactionaries.

The seizure of entire universities as Columbia University, the Sorbonne and many others in Latin America and Western Europe is similar to the seizure of Chinese universities by the Chinese youth.

In France, the youth seized the university and then took the streets in the Latin Quarter. All this was followed by something more extensive and more profound as the general strike of French workers and farmers which still haunts De Gaulle's regime. A few tens of thousands of youth started what subsequently embraced more than ten millions workers and farmers, frightening the reactionaries and compelling them to unleash the violence of the state. The French youth became truly strong politically with the support given them by the masses of workers and farmers.

Let us compare the progressive actions of militant youth with those much ballyhooed in the Western press as exemplary models of youth rebellion.

In Eastern Europe, particularly in Czechoslovakia and Poland, the ultra-revisionist youth press for rapid liberalization, which means a faster return of capitalism and collaborative relation with the United States and West Germany.

In Asia, we are witness to youth movements which helped overthrow certain regimes, Syngman Rhee's in South Korea and Sukarno's in Indonesia. These youth actions differ radically from what transpired in China. In the former, the existing corrupt state was retained and the old problems of exploitation and bureaucratic corruption aggravated. The change was not actually made by the youth, together with the masses, but by the reactionary army which always tries to preserve the old state. In Korea, General Park Chung Hee merely took advantage of youth unrest against Syngman Rhee and seized power by coup d' etat over the heads of the masses. In Indonesia, the same thing happened with Generals Nasution and Suharto replacing Sukarno. The previous character of the state did not change.

Summarizing all these phenomena, we can state that the youth can be revolutionary only if supported by the masses in effecting a basic transformation of the state. Separated from the struggle of the masses, the youth only lead themselves into spasms of anarchy, a situation easily taken advantage of by reactionary army officers and other kinds of palace revolutionists.

It is worthwhile to differentiate revolutionary youth from counter-revolutionary youth. If there were youth attracted to the swastika of Hitler's Jungen, there were also youth who joined partisan movements all over Europe, who fought fascism and triumphed in the end over the German war machine. If there are youth enlisted in the armed forces of the United States on missions of genocide in Vietnam, there are more American youth in the anti-imperialist, anti-war and anti-draft movement. There are also the rebellious black youth in the ghettoes. The young hoodlums backstopped by the reactionary armies of Indonesia, South Korea and other client states of the U.S. who go into rampages against progressives and democrats of their own countries, are counterpointed by the revolutionary youth who join the masses fighting against established system of exploitation and suppression.

We see the revolutionary courage and heroism of Vietnamese youth fighting American aggression in their country. The People's Liberation Armed Forces of South Vietnam are youthful faces.

The Filipino youth have had their own share of revolutionary struggles - against the Spanish colonialists, against the American imperialists, against the Japanese fascists. A revolutionary civil war has once occurred within the living memory of many of today's youth; constantly threatening imperialists and landlords, it pins its hopes on the youth.

Youth is the best fighting age. This is not meant to exclude progressive adults from the ranks of revolutionaries: after all, no matter how old they may be, they are still young in spirit because of revolutionary experience and continuing revolutionary commitment.

Both old and young are subsumed by classes, drawn into the contention of classes and nations, with the young grasping earliest the new and progressive.

It is the youth in the tradition of the Philippine revolution, of Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto and Gregorio del Pilar we are most concerned with. They shed their blood on the battle field against foreign tyrants and their local minions. With the Philippines increasingly in crisis, we expect more youth to take the uncompromising road of revolt against social injustices. After a long lull in the countryside and in the cities, we can observe the stirrings of a resurgent national democratic movement in the womb of a mis-shapen semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. The youth of the city, especially students and young workers, are rising in dissent. Young peasants are goading their elders; the youth are astir in Cotabato, Negros, Quezon, Pampanga, in many places. The youth are the vanguard of national reawakening.

It is in this respect that Kabataang Makabayan, the national democratic youth organization with the most profoundly articulate program and the most widespread membership in the Philippines today, has called itself the Second Propaganda Movement, apart from the connotation and the denotation that it is striving to solve old problems. It is a movement that prepares public opinion for the advance and triumph of working people under the radiant banner of proletarian leadership. It seeks to arouse and mobilize the masses towards the achievement of a national democracy that is new and progressive within the context of the most radical advances made by mankind and the working class. It seeks to project the ideological and political principles that can provide scientific direction to social revolution.

With Kabataang Makabayan in the vanguard, the Filipino youth are striving for progress and social justice. They have demonstrated a militance comparable to the youth of other lands and those in previous stages of our national history. They have manifested a profound understanding of basic problems and of the day's issues.

With Kabataang Makabayan in the vanguard, there have been demonstrations of such depth and magnitude never before witnessed, protesting iniquities in our social and political system. There have been demonstrations spearheaded by KM on the murder of Filipinos in U.S. military bases, the Parity Amendment and the Laurel-Langley Agreement, the Vietnam war, the Retail Trade Nationalization Law and many others.

The historic actions of October 23rd and 24th of 1966 are still fresh in the minds of the youth; these exposed the Manila Summit and caught the U.S. President and a big complement of Asian puppets together. There have been workers', students' and teachers' strikes participated in by Kabataang Makabayan. All the time the character of the bourgeois state is displayed before the unarmed protestants.

In schools all over the country, especially in the University of the Philippines, there is a growing ferment manifested often by student action. In the working class movement, the young workers are reassuming leadership. In the countryside, the youth are more articulate and critical of the old problem of feudalism than the officials of the barrio council and community development projects of the reactionaries.

Alone, demonstrations, speeches and leaflets cannot bring about the fundamental change of basic governmental policies but they certainly arouse the masses and even goad certain sections of the urban petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie to question the basic tenets of the neo-colonial regime. They also discourage blatant abuses by the reactionaries.

Whatever its detractors say, the Kabataang Makabayan on the basis of present objective conditions has become a milestone in the long march of national democratic revolution. Is there any Philippine youth organization now, comparable in strength and achievement in the national democratic movement? The KM has made certain achievements that can no longer be disregarded by history. Prof. Teodoro A. Agoncillo has taken note of these in his History of the Filipino People. Its merits lie not only in its acts of democratic protest, in militating the people, but also in its more quiet acts of spreading the tenets of national democracy in urban and rural areas.

A whole range of challenges to the Filipino youth are contained in the national democratic program of action of the Kabataang Makabayan. This program defines the conditions and tasks of the Filipino youth. As we protest, we affirm the direction we are taking.

In the political field, we want to arouse and mobilize the Filipino youth as a powerful coordinate of the masses led by the working class in the great movement to realize the national democratic revolution. We are committed to assisting the development of a powerful mass movement and a working class leadership that can transform the character of the present state and rid ourselves of the malignant rule of the comprador bourgeoisie, the landlords and the corrupt government officials.

In the economic field, we seek national industrialization independent of the foreign monopolies on the basis of an agrarian revolution that liberates the peasants from feudal and semi- feudal oppression. We envision a just and prosperous society that is made possible only by the most intense and most effective political struggles of workers and peasants. We do not seek crumbs from the well-laden table of the almighty few but we seek general economic conditions that will not foster class exploitation.

In the cultural field, we demand the national democratic re- orientation of our educational system, mass media and other parts of the social superstructure. We reject the colonial-feudal and bourgeois-imperialist culture that restrain the advance of the exploited masses and all other progressive sectors of the population. At a time when the youth are corrupted by a backward and decadent culture, we urge the rising Filipino youth, a fresh force,to overthrow such regressive and anti-popular culture and make possible a new and progressive one responsive to the aspirations of the nation and the masses.

In the field of social welfare and mass work, we seek the improvement of the working and living conditions of the masses of workers, peasants, fishermen and all semi-proletariat. The youth must help them develop the political strength that can guarantee whatever economic gains have been made. They must take the mass line, that is, rouse them on the basis of their own concrete demands and rely on their massive efforts to contend with the exploiters. They must help heighten the political consciousness of the masses in the course of participating in their economic struggle.

In the field of national security, we demand the abolition of the country's dependence on foreign military bases and dictation. We base our concept of national security on the sovereign democratic powers of the masses. If the masses can succeed in freeing themselves from U.S. imperialist control and from their local exploiters, it will be impossible for another foreign power to subject them to another successful aggression. The mythical possibility of another foreign aggression is no justification for the reality of a perpetuated aggression against the nation and the masses by U.S. imperialism and local exploiting classes. Our well-entrenched enemy keeps saying our friends are our enemies in order to present himself as our friend.

In the field of foreign policy, we seek an independent diplomacy and trade, a broadening of the present state of our foreign relations and a rejection of the stultifying "special relations" with the U.S. government, U.S. imperialism has so much control over our national life that the simpletons and deliberate liars in our midst keep spreading that we rally merely on foreign policy issues when the fact is that there are perfectly domestic issues even as a foreign power is the target of our opposition. That is because such a foreign power is well-entrenched in our politics, economy, culture and security system; this is all-round domination by the imperialists on the basis of the semi-feudal debility of the country.

The tasks of the national-democratic movement, the entire Filipino youth, and the Kabataang Makabayan are clear. In schools, farms, factories and communities, new cells of change are multiplying before the sweep of the Second Propaganda Movement.

The unfulfilled aspirations of the nation and the masses throb in the hearts and minds of the young. This generation strives to recoup the failures of the past and girds for the triumphs of the future. As the progressive youth movement and the Kabataang Makabayan struggle for fundamental changes, they will be defamed by the overt and covert enemies of national democracy but they will triumph in the end.

Only through militant struggle can the best in youth shall emerge. Only through the struggle can become more evident the constant replenishment of the fighting forces by the ceaseless flow of new blood.

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
   
     

 

July 16, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Reference:
Rep. Raymond Palatino, 0908-5927099
Romina Astudillo, Media Officer, 0915-8982964
 

Youth to watch over tangible six percent GDP on educ
Do not fail the youth, Aquino told
 

As hundreds of youth storm the streets to address the sector’s crisis, Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond Palatino reminded President Benigno Aquino III of his promise to the youth during his presidential campaign that he will prioritize education once seated.

“Mr. Aquino, never take back what you said. What you told the people during your electoral campaign must not remain as words,” says the youth solon, “You promised the youth that six percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) will be appropriated for education and we want to see that tangible six percent.”

Aquino said in his campaign that he will allot six percent of the country’s GDP in line with the prescribed education budget by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The youth solon has already proposed appropriations for the said six percent.

“We already suggested that the budget must be used to fill the various gaps in the education sector such as shortages in classrooms, books, computers and other learning tools. Not only should Noynoy consider the six percent GDP but also the realignment of the intelligence funds of Malacañang for education services,” suggests Palatino.

During Aquino’s inauguration, the youth solon bared the questionable funds from the Office of the President (OP) such as the P640 million Contingent Fund which was used by Arroyo for her trips and junkets, the P650 million intelligence funds and the P1.748 million funds for the Visiting Forces Agreement which stated no clear purpose. Palatino urged Aquino that time to re-direct the OP funds as an emergency budget allocation for the education sector and stressed on the needs of the state colleges and universities.

“Today’s walk-out signifies the heightening clamor of the youth to hark back Aquino’s promise. Deceit is one thing that the youth has endured for the longest time. But it doesn’t mean the youth will just stand aside and watch their democratic rights be taken away,” says Palatino.

The youth will continue to heckle the streets and every educational institution responsible for ensuring access to quality education as a countdown to Aquino’s first State of the Nation Address which will be delivered on July 26.

“This serves as Noy’s preliminary exams. He must not, at all costs, fail the youth,” ends Palatino. ###

--
Office of Rep. Raymond ‘Mong’ Palatino
Temporary Office at 3rd Floor, Main Building
House of Representatives, Batasan Complex, Quezon City

Reference:
Kabataan Party-list Rep. Mong Palatino
Mobile: 09085927099
Email: cong.mongpalatino@gmail.com

Romina Astudillo, Media Officer
Mobile: 0915-8982964
--
Office of Rep. Raymond ‘Mong’ Palatino
Temporary Office at 3rd Floor, Main Building
House of Representatives, Batasan Complex, Quezon City

Reference:
Kabataan Party-list Rep. Mong Palatino
Mobile: 09085927099
Email: cong.mongpalatino@gmail.com

Romina Astudillo, Media Officer
Mobile: 0915-8982964
 

     
     
           
           
     
     

 

PRESS RELEASE
Reference: Anton Dulce, Anakbayan national vice-chairperson, 09086123260
July 16, 2010

After 2 weeks of Aquino, PNOY stands for something else for the youth – Anakbayan

“PNOY: Positively Nothing On Youth interests”

As thousands of youths nationwide hit the streets today for what has been dubbed a ‘National Day of Action for Education’, Anakbayan national vice-chairperson Anton Dulce summed up the 16-day old administration of Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino with the four previously-mentioned letters.

The youth group Anakbayan, which includes in its ranks working youth and out-of-school youth, had earlier challenged Aquino to make education accessible for all Filipinos, as well as providing more employment and livelihood opportunities for the youth. Among the measures specifically mentioned by the group which they said were ‘doable’ in the first 100 days of the Administration are:

- A tuition freeze order covering all colleges and universities nationwide
- The reallocation of emergency funds for the education sector
- Initiation of the process to scrap the Value Added Tax, Oil Deregulation Law, and the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA)
- Explicit orders to Congress to fast-track the passage of the legislated P125 wage hike
- A review of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension (CARPER)

“If Noynoy’s presidency was a movie, it would be an opening-day flop. Unfortunately for us, it isn’t a movie, and it is the youth who suffers from such a bomb” said the group’s vice-chairperson.

Meanwhile, the youth leader added the recent spate of extra-judicial killings in its list of concerns addressed to the president. Among the victims was Mark Francisco, a public school teacher and a member of the ACT Teachers’ Partylist in Masbate province.

“We are alarmed that the military’s dirty war is spilling over into campuses. We demand that Noynoy make full use of his executive powers to put the leash around the neck of the rabid and out-of-control AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines)” said Dulce.

He warned that failure by the government to concretely address any of their concerns would push more youths into the streets across the nation in the coming weeks.

“Already, we’re looking into the possibility of calling for bigger nationwide rallies, especially on Aquino’s first-ever SONA (State of the Nation Address). He must come into terms that we, the youth, are more critical of the government and that we will not abide by that very uncritical ‘honeymoon period’” he said. ###
--
Get the latest news on burning social issues at

www.anakbayanph.wordpress.com

 

     
           
     
     
     

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2010

Allot 6% of GDP to education, youth urge P-Noy
Emergency budget for education can come from OP funds

Kabataan Partylist Raymond Palatino today called on President Benigno Aquino III to make good his word that he will allot six percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) to education.

"This coming State of the Nation Address (SONA), we expect Aquino to fulfill his promise that he will allot 6% of the GDP to the education budget,” said Palatino.

Palatino said that earmarking six percent of the GDP for education will mean higher state subsidy to address the problem of shortages, poor quality and to prevent the worsening commercialization of education.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) prescribes that at least six percent of a country's GDP be allocated to education.

Emergency budget

Palatino also said that while he welcomes Aquino's statement that he would re-direct funds of the Office of the President to disaster relief, among others, the president can also re-align other items in the OP budget to address immediate needs of the education sector.

“Pres. Aquino can start resolving the education crisis by allotting an emergency budget for education. The sector is beset with problems that cannot wait to be resolved by the 2011 budget proposals and deliberations which start in August or September,” Palatino said.

The youth solon pointed to the condition of state colleges and universities (SUCs) such as the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) and University of the Philippines (UP) which are in dire need of “rescuing.”

For the present academic year, PUP accepted around 17,000 freshman enrollees this June yet its annual budget can only accommodate 10,000 new students.

“As we speak, the university is at a loss on how to provide more classrooms and facilities, as well as employ more faculty for the needs of the entire student population. We have been receiving reports that the classroom to student ratio in PUP has reached almost 1:80 or more since the start of classes. PUP freshmen and their parents are forced to endure this miserable state because they could not afford to transfer,” he said.

Tuition in PUP is lowest at P12 per unit.

Meanwhile, UP’s measly budget has forced yet a fresh spate of laboratory fee increases.

In UP Diliman and Visayas Cebu College, the UP Board of Regents has recently approved increases in 38 lab fees and the imposition of 15 new lab fees for AY 2010-2011.

“These are results of yearly budget cuts suffered by SUCs. These can be immediately resolved if Pres. Aquino agrees to sacrifice some items funded for in the Office of the President.”

Every year, the OP has a Contingent Fund worth P640 million. This fund was used mainly by outgoing Pres. Arroyo for her numerous trips and junkets. “If this fund has already understandably been used up by Arroyo, there are still other items from which the emergency allocation can come.”

Among them, Palatino enumerated, are the intelligence funds directly managed under the OP (P650 million), funds for the Visiting Forces Agreement Commission whose functions are not specified (P1.748 million) and the budget for the maintenance of the presidential jet (P1.2 million). ###

--
Office of Rep. Raymond ‘Mong’ Palatino
Temporary Office at 3rd Floor, Main Building
House of Representatives, Batasan Complex, Quezon City

Reference:
Kabataan Party-list Rep. Mong Palatino
Mobile: 09085927099
Email: cong.mongpalatino@gmail.com

Romina Astudillo, Media Officer
Mobile: 0915-8982964

-
Office of Rep. Raymond ‘Mong’ Palatino
Temporary Office at 3rd Floor, Main Building
House of Representatives, Batasan Complex, Quezon City

Reference:
Kabataan Party-list Rep. Mong Palatino
Mobile: 09085927099
Email: cong.mongpalatino@gmail.com

Romina Astudillo, Media Officer
Mobile: 0915-8982964
 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     
     
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STUDENT POWER ?
by Jose Maria Sison
(First published in Eastern Horizon, a progressive Hongkong magazine.)

BEFORE WE GO far into a discussion of the ideology and goals of the rising student rebel movement in the Philippines, let us first examine the term student power which is nowadays commonly used in the bourgeois mass media and also among the varied circles of the New Left so-called.

It appears that the common notion of student power is that students all by themselves can develop their own power independent of other social forces outside of school walls and also that all by themselves they can hit the streets to make and unmake governments. There is the idea being suggested that the students can be an independent power that can effect even revolutionary changes. Those who have contempt for the masses or who deliberately wish to separate the students from the masses and national mass organizations insist that students should no longer be the object of interest of "outsiders".

If the meaning of the term student power be limited to mere autonomism, then we need to raise serious disagreement in the light of an analysis of the social status of students. Students who truly stand for revolutionary change should always strive for integration with larger and even more dynamic social force, that is to say, the exploited masses of the people.

The students, or more precisely the college and high school students, cannot be relied upon to carry the sole or the main burden in a revolutionary transformation of our present semi- colonial and semi-feudal society. They are a very small portion of Philippine society, though they are an important and numerous part of the influential petty bourgeoisie.

The social basis of college and high school students is the petty bourgeoisie, though a little minority of them come from exploiting classes. By virtue of their social position and of the fact that the existing educational system is semi-colonial and semi-feudal, students are at the first instance captives of imperialist and feudalistic ideas and values. The petty bourgeois is principally concerned with his selfish ambition of pursuing a career within the established system and he is so indoctrinated and trained by the educational system as to re-enforce intellectually and technically the present social system.

But in time of developing social crisis, the students largely supported by their petty bourgeois parents cam easily become agitated when the meager and fixed incomes of their parents can hardly suffice to keep them enrolled in school, with the proper board and lodging or with enough allowances. They are also agitated as they watch an ever increasing number of graduates fail to get jobs or have ample opportunity in the system. At this time, they are beginning by force of social circumstances to use freely their perception and intellect to analyze their own situation and social reality at large. This is the time when they feel sharply the restrictive and exploitative character of the social system. This is the time when they recognize the educational system to be a mere mirror-reflector and rationalizer of economic and political inequities that is failing to yield them enough concessions as before. This is the time when they begin to speak of the alienation of the educational system
from the actual needs and aspirations of their own and of the masses of the people.

In time of social crisis, the exploiting classes lose the allegiance of students. The students increasingly associate themselves with the exploited classes. They make common cause with those whose condition they are in danger of falling into. What is considered the "independent-mindedness" of the urban petty bourgeoisie (the much-vaunted intelligent middle class) shifts from an allegiance to the exploiting classes to an allegiance to the exploited masses. At the same time, the exploited masses of the people welcome them in a common cause and in a common struggle.

The Current Student Rebel Movement

It is no surprise that at the present time, when the whole society is in crisis, when the government is becoming more and more bankrupt and the masses of the people are groaning under the weight of exploitation, a wave of student strikes rises in the Philippines. There are protests involving questions ranging from the suppression of the student's right to speak out on national issues and join mass actions to the excessive hike of tuition and miscellaneous fees. The students are also uniting with their teachers against the exploitative practices of school administrations. Together they raise political and economic demands.

By virtue of its comprehensive grasp of the growing crisis in the national and international situation, Kabataang Makabayan has been able to anticipate and plan the development of the national student protest movement in the Philippines. As early as the first semester of the academic year 1967-68, its local chapters with the special attention of its national officers had already launched a number of strikes in some schools in the provinces and a general strike almost occurred in the University of the Philippines on the issue of further Americanization. On November 30, 1967, at its Second National Congress, the KM included in its Programme of Action the following:

Among the students, the activists of Kabataang Makabayan should fight for concrete measures that will benefit them. At the same time, they are responsible for giving a national-democratic direction to the efforts of students to improve their study and living conditions.

The Kabataang Makabayan should develop a national student protest movement against the rising cost of education and living. It should stand against the willingness of the government to allow the public school system to be stifled and to deteriorate in favour of private schools which are, as a matter of course, motivated by commercialism.

The current student rebel movement has been most vigorous in schools where there are strong KM chapters. These student chapters have lent all the support they can to the local student reform movements to such an extent that the reactionary academic authorities and President Marcos have been compelled to attack student strikers as "outsiders" and "subversives" to confuse the issues. Mountain of leaflets for every school have been distributed falsely in the name of Kabataang Makabayan in order to malign it and in order to confuse the students.

The scope and intensity of the students strikes is unprecedented in the entire history of the Philippines. It might appear that they are a phenomenon entirely different from the long series of student and youth demonstrations that started as early as March 14, 1961, when a student front spearheaded by the Student Cultural Association of the U.P. demonstrated with the force of 4,000 students against the witch-hunt undertaken by the Committee on Un-Filipino Activities (CUFA).

All these student mass actions are interrelated and continuous. The inter-connection and continuity do not lie only in the popularization of direct democratic action but also in the substantial demands raised. Student strikes and demonstrations have developed because of the evil features of a system that is semi-colonial and semi-feudal, because of conditions that adversely affect the students themselves. The anti-CUFA demonstration of 1961 was ostensibly in defence of academic freedom and autonomy of the state university but in reality it was already a defence of the right of teachers and students to speak for the cause of national democracy. From then on, student activism arose with the banner of national democracy and continued to develop without let-up inside and outside the state university.

There were smaller demonstrations against the U.S. invasion of Cuba, against Malaysia and against imperialist nuclear black-mail until October 2, 1964, when the students conjoined with workers in demonstrating massively against parity rights and the American military bases in front of the U.S. embassy and Malaca¤ang. On November 30, 1964, Kabataang Makabayan was formed to consolidate the students and young workers that had participated in the militant demonstration of October 2, 1964, and that had come under the threat of fixed bayonets.

On January 25, 1965, Kabataang Makabayan, together with other mass organizations, was already in a position to launch a 20,000- strong demonstration of students, workers and peasants on a wide range of issues involving our country's basic problems of U.S. imperialism and feudalism.

Then came the series of demonstrations against the Vietnam Bill which would require a suffering country like the Philippines to help U.S. imperialism aggress further against the Vietnamese people. These reached a climacteric point on October 23 and 24, 1966, when the Manila Summit was held as an attempt of Lyndon B. Johnson to round up its Asian puppets for more aggressive action against the Vietnamese people. The just anger of youth became expressed in this demonstration even as the most brutal police action was employed against them in a pocket-size and mild version of Vietnam at the Manila Hotel.

On the question of Malaysia last year, the most wide-spread youth demonstration all over the country was credited to chapters of Kabataang Makabayan. Especially the most militant action at the British embassy and U.S. embassy was adduced to Kabataang Makabayan by quarters merely interested in expanding the Philippine territory to Sabah while keeping silent on the U.S. military bases under our very noses. Kabataang Makabayan has always made it clear that it is simply against Malaysia as a handiwork of Anglo-American imperialism.

There have been other demonstrations like those against the oil monopolies on the matter of implementing the retail trade nationalization law, against the U.S. military bases for the killing of Filipino youth and so on and so forth. There has also been KM participation in strikes conducted in local factories and other places.

In all significant protest actions held previous to the current student rebel movement, we can never fail to show their relation to the growing socio-economic crisis of the Philippines due basically to its out-moded and semi-colonial and semi-feudal status.

Struggle for National Democracy

We have always advocated the achievement of real national democracy as the goal of our struggle. The present struggle of the students have as its principal goal the achievement of national democracy. A comprehensive presentation of this general goal is the Programme of Action of Kabataang Makabayan. All other goals flow from this single goal. Students should band together and fight vigorously to end foreign and feudal exploitation that constricts their opportunities and those of the whole nation.

As the national democratic struggle is a broad struggle, embracing the workers, peasants and other sectors of the population, the students should always relate their own struggle to that of the entire people, mainly the struggle of the exploited masses of workers and peasants.

Being a minority social group which is even detached from the actual process of production, the students are in no position to make possible revolutionary and lasting changes without their integration with the struggle of the masses of workers and peasants.

All serious efforts should, therefore, be undertaken in order to transform the present student rebel movement into a cultural revolution of a national democratic orientation. We have dared say before that it is veritably already an incipient cultural revolution. Its beginnings are already forceful enough to make the first Propaganda Movement look like a dinner party.

The Second Propaganda Movement that we have been advocating is essentially a cultural revolution of a national democratic orientation. It is the phase of creating the public opinion necessary for a comprehensive national democratic revolution. The struggle for national democracy cannot be successfully won without this cultural revolution.

In this cultural revolution, the students play an important role. The ranks of students now are more sizable than ever before in the whole history of the Philippines and they have the special characteristic of mobility. As the students emanate from various parts of the country and of a province, once they grasp the ideas of the struggle for national democracy, they can fan out widely to broadcast these ideas of revolutionary change even if only during their vacation periods or after their graduation or when they choose to work full time for the revolutionary mass movement and merge with the masses in a no-nonsense manner. Many students are dropping out of school for economic reasons; it would be a good thing for these economic drop-outs to engage in a political struggle that seeks to improve their lot and that of the people.

It is the further goal of the cultural revolution to have the ideas of national democratic revolution transformed into a material force. In making the cultural revolution, we launch mass protest actions like strikes and demonstrations, we hold conferences, seminars,lectures, teach-ins, and other fora, and we publish rebel newspapers, pamphlets and leaflets and we speak out without end for national democracy in classrooms, in the streets, over the radio and everywhere else. But our further goal is always to impel mass mobilization. Our campaign for mass revolutionary education immediately creates the most tangible reality by mobilizing right away the masses of the people.

The students and youth play a vanguard role in the cultural revolution, as the Red Guards in their own high stage of cultural revolution, as the 10,000 French students that aroused more than 10 million French workers, as the Vietnamese youth through armed propaganda units and cultural organizations. But the ultimate goal for the students and youth that are truly committed to the national democratic revolution is always to merge with the masses of the people as they constantly remould their own thinking and discard their petty bourgeois or individualistic prejudices and predilections.


 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
     

 

National Union of Students of the Philippines
National Office Office of the Student Regent, Vinzons Hall, UP Diliman, QC Telephone 9818500 loc. 4511 or 4512

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2010

No to Mangmang!
Noy pressed on national day of youth action

Ten days before President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), students today walkout from their classes, marched to Malacanang, and defied President Aquino to resolve the education crisis on SONA day.

“Today is a national day of youth action. Youth and students, not just in the National Capital Region, but all over the country, participate in this eminent show of force to demand President Aquino finally resolve the education crisis on his SONA. Either he does that or his promise of change would mean completely nothing. ” said Einstein Recedes, national president of the NUSP.

Youth actions were simultaneously held in Baguio-Benguet, Central Luzon, Bicol, Cebu, Bacolod, Tacloban, and Davao. Youth and students from Southern Tagalog joined in the action in Manila.

According to Terry Ridon, League of Filipino Students (LFS) chair, the youth are starting to “wake up from Noy’s dreamy notion of change.”

“A lot have welcomed the new administration with high hopes. That was likely the case since the GMA government was such a terrible disaster. But slowly, more and more are beginning to wonder whether Noy’s promise of change is same old empty rhetoric. The youth, especially, are beginning to wake up from Noy’s dreamy notion of change”

“It is crucial that we understand that without the strong mass movement, notions like change and progress would lose their hopeful tenor. Precisely as true believers for change and progress, the youth persistently engage the new administration to install concrete measures to address the youth and people’s issues,” Ridon said.

Anton Dulce, vice-chair of Anakbayan, said that Aquino should not hide behind the excuse that he is no “superman.” He said that that youth’s demand for quality and accessible education is “modest” that a President with a strong political will guided by conscientious leadership can instigate fundamental education reforms.

“A pro-people education system is expected from any government that touts itself as a champion of democracy. I’m afraid that if P-noy will not properly address the education crisis, his monicker would start to mean differently for the youth, Positively Nothing on Youth interests.” Dulce said.

For her part, Trina Federis, president of College of Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), said that Aquino should seriously address the systemic problem of education legalized by laws such as the Education Act of 1982 and Campus Journalism Act of 1991, to name but two.

Federis also said that Aquino should refrain from dropping “timeworn platitudes like ‘Kayo ang boss ko’ or ‘I’m all for democracy.’ The mantra ‘actions speak louder than words’ is more urgent now than ever given the pressing demands of the youth and people”

The youth also took Aquino to task for the continued killings of activists.

According to Tin Valerio, vice-chair of the Student Christian Movement of the Philippines, “the unabated killings of progressive individuals is a painful yet agitating reminder that ours is a time when a new administration, using the banner of change and hope, is haunted by an underlying fascism and violence. We cannot, for one, take President Aquino’s promises to heart. We, ultimately, have to struggle on until we attaint genuine change for youth and the people, whether it be on education or human rights” she said.

Reference:
Terry Ridon, LFS chair, 09155310725
Bugsy Nolasco, NUSP media officer, 09163597601
 

     
     
           
     
     
     
     

 

League of Filipino Students
118-B Sct. Rallos Ext. Bgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City
Website: LFS.PH
Email: lfsphilippines@gmail.com

PRESS RELEASE
July 15, 2010

Unlikely allies for education?
PUP students march with admin to ask P-Noy for higher budget

A day before the scheduled national student walkout, students have secured the support of an unlikely ally, the administration officials of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

“Today we march united with the PUP administration to call on President Aquino to deliver on his promises to state higher education. Our plight among all SUCs is the most desperate – our ceilings are destroyed, we have no new chairs, there is flooding at the top floor of the PUP Main building.” This was the statement of Cheyser Soriano, Chairperson of the PUP Student Council, and one of the student leaders that had been charged with robbery by the PUP administration.

Early this year, PUP students and administration officials had several skirmishes over the latter’s plan to raise tuition from P12 per unit to P200 per unit, that had sparked militant protest actions inside PUP grounds, including the symbolic burning of destroyed and decaying wooden seats and tables. The PUP administration on the other hand, had charged PUP student leaders with robbery when the students took from school grounds dilapidated chairs for display at the Commission on Higher Education to draw attention to PUP’s plight. PUP officials had since withdrawn the robbery charge.

On the other hand, Terry Ridon, national chairperson of the League of Filipino Students, challenged President Aquino to decisively address the demands of the students.

“It seems the President is only interested in making propaganda points with media, without seriously addressing the most important issues of the day, such as our education.” Ridon was apparently referring to Mr. Aquino’s public scolding of the obviously underfunded PAGASA for failing to provide updated weather bulletins during the recent storm Basyang.

Ridon said that PUP has more than fifty thousand enrollees in all its campuses around the country but had been seriously underfunded by the previous Arroyo government that the PUP administration was left with no choice but to refuse to enroll close to four thousand ‘poor but deserving’ students.

“These are significant education access data which cannot be taken lightly by the Aquino administration. It must act swiftly and with results if it is indeed serious about its message of genuine change for our people. Hope in this administration is evaporating fast within the ranks of the students.”

Reference:

Terry Ridon, National Chairperson, League of Filipino Students
09155310725, teridon18@gmail.com
 

     
           
           
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