Robredo saddened by NYC’s call to revoke scholarship of ‘anti-government’ students

February 20,2019 - 04:21 PM

Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebel Myles Albasin, a graduate of University of the Philippines Cebu, was arrested with five others in a military operation in Mabinay, Negros Oriental on March 3, 2018. /Centcom Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo slammed the statement of the National Youth Commission (NYC) asking the President to issue an order that will revoke the government scholarships of  students suspected to have links with leftist groups.

Robredo said in an interview with the Cebu media on Wednesday, February 20, that she is saddened to hear that the leadership of the NYC is seemingly asking the youth to be subservient to the policies of the government.

“So kapag sinabi iyon ng National Youth Commission, gusto bang sabihin iyong gusto nating klaseng kabataang Pilipino iyong sunod-sunuran lang? Iyong gusto ba nating kabataang Pilipino, iyong hindi nabibigyan ng boses para ipahayag iyong kaniyang paniniwala?” Robredo said.

“Tingin ko hindi ganoon iyong gusto natin kasi ang gusto natin Pilipinong malayang nakakapagpahayag ng kaniyang pinapaniwalaan. Pilipinong hindi natatakot sabihin kung ano iyong kaniyang saloobin at gobyernong handang makinig kahit hindi maganda iyong lahat niyang naririnig,” she added.

On Tuesday, NYC Chairperson Ronald Gian Carlo Cardema asked President Rodrigo Duterte to  issue an Executive Order that will remove government subsidy for “all anti-government scholars.”

Read more: NUSP-Cebu condemns statement of NYC chairman, calls for his resignation 

Cardema was especially referring to students linked with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front (NDF) who avail of the government’s scholarship grants.

He said that there had been several instances in the past where in students were caught as armed rebels fighting against government forces.

“Nalungkot ako, kasi over the years parang throughout the history of our republic, every time na may conflict, every time na mayroong upheaval, iyong nauunang maglakas ng loob, iyong mga kabataan… So for the National [Youth] Commission to issue such statement (such as that) parang kailangan na ba tayong matakot? Kailangan na ba tayong matakot na iyong mga namumuno ng ating mga kabataan, ganiyan na ang pag-iisip?” Robredo said./dcb

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