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Presidential backtrack

PRESIDENT Duterte has already backtracked from his previous pronouncements of ending joint military exercises with the US and terminating Edca. And now, he wants stronger ties with the US after Donald Trump won the presidency. It’s disappointing, to say the least. The people know better, Mr. President, and you must heed the demands of the people.

We also condemn the recent decision of the Supreme Court allowing for the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

The dark days of Martial Law will forever remain in the hearts and minds of the Filipinos, especially to those who lived through it. The Filipino people was insulted when the Supreme Court allowed the burial of a dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. We simply cannot forget something that took a toll at our economy, politics, and overall way of life. No to mention, the thousands of lives lost fighting for national liberation and democracy. This is not something you can easily shrug off, more so to the families who lost loved ones fighting the dictatorship.

Neoliberal policies were first implemented during the time of Marcos. Particularly in the education sector, the Education Act of 1982 essentially gave both public and private higher educational institutions more power to decide how much tuition they’ll charge students. It basically removed the government’s regulating powers and caused tuition fees to skyrocket.

We must not forget that the Education Act of 1982 was the basis of subsequent laws governing tuition and other school fees increases. It made college education more expensive and led to an increasing number of students to dropout. The youth also cannot forget how their democratic rights were crushed when Marcos ordered the closure of student publications and student councils simply because they were advocating students’ rights. That’s why it’s necessary for the youth of today to be educated of Marcos’ atrocities because it still happens today.

We urge the youth to unite and struggle against US imperialism and neoliberal attacks amidst a looming political uncertainty in the months to come.

We have to remember that that task of forging an independent foreign policy and getting rid of neoliberal policies does not rest solely on one person. The youth, in solidarity with the Filipino masses, must collectively struggle to uphold our democratic rights and achieve national liberation and democracy. We must rely on our collective strength and trust the masses, and pave the way towards achieving our rights to education, just and lasting peace, and genuine social transformation.–Sarah Elago, representative, Kabataan

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