August 16, 2017

Student leaders to Pres. Duterte: Be at the right side of history; stop the killings and Marcos burial at LNMB

Student leaders from various universities gather Wednesday, August 24, in the University of the Philippines Diliman to condemn the ongoing war-on-drugs campaign of the Duterte administration and the proposal to bury Dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani.

In a press conference attended by student leaders from UP Diliman, UP Manila, Arellano University, and Eulogio ‘Amang’ Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST), NUSP spokesperson Kevin Castro vehemently condemned the killings faced by the Filipino people under the current administration, stating that such act does not address the actual roots of the drugs problems in the country.

“By upholding and protecting the all-out war against drugs campaign, the Duterte administration is blatantly saying that the lives of the accused do not really matter anymore. If the government is sincere in resolving the problems on drugs in the country, they must address the roots of why drug-dependency exists, mainly due to extreme poverty,” Castro said.

Extrajudicial killings have been rampant in the country as executed through police operations and vigilante actions. As of writing, 1,158 killings were recorded.

“Instead of focusing on the poor and the underprivileged, the campaign against drugs must target the big fish. Drug users must be put into intensive rehabilitation. Ending their lives is never an option,” he added.

Aside from the killings in the cities, the student leaders also unite in calling to stop the persistent killings of the Lumad. “This culture of impunity must stop. Protecting the Lumad is protecting the country’s culture. Human rights, among drug users and the Lumad, must be defended at all times,” Castro noted.

They also tackled their unyielding opposition of the Duterte administration’s proposal to bury the Dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani.

“Once this plan becomes reality, it will be a slap on the face of the Martial law victims, of the casualties of human rights violations and abuses, of the desaparecidos. Paying due respect to the dictator’s decayed body will never be a gesture of giving justice to the victims of Martial Law and to their families. Let him rot in Ilocos. I do not think the President will be pleased once the people wage another People Power to protect the Filipino narratives from historical revisionism,” he stated.

“We are urging President Rodrigo Duterte. Stop protecting the interests of the elite, of the ruling classes. Be at the right side of history. Always listen and side with the Filipino people,” Castro ended.

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