May 23, 2017

Student Union warns Filipinos to be vigilant, to oppose the continuing state fascism and the possible return of dictatorship

Amidst President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement that Martial Law did not make the Filipinos’ lives better during the regime of Dictator Ferdinand Marcos, the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) urged the public to remain vigilant with the government’s declaration of terror alert level 3 all over the country.

“With the sustained efforts of the government to end the drug problems of the country through the war-on-drugs campaign, it is not surprising for this government to put the country under the total rule of the military. Putting the entire nation at terror alert level 3 is a step closer to a declaration of Martial Law, bringing back the country to its mired and dark history under a fascist dictatorship,” Kevin Castro, NUSP spokesperson, said.

According to reports, the Philippine National Police (PNP) put the entire Philippines under terror alert level 3 due to the foiled bomb attack on Roxas Boulevard in Manila.

“While the National Union is not disregarding the threats from terrorist groups, we must still be on our guard with such decision, coupled with the earlier declaration of state of lawlessness. Given the fascist nature of the state’s armed forces, such pronouncements can be used to silence those who show political dissent against the current administration. In times where clamor and oppositions against the regime are at its peak, political persecutions and crackdowns might ensue to keep the status quo and the chaotic order intact in the society,” Castro continued.

Aside from political persecutions, the National Union is also condemning such act as a platform to further intensify the counter-insurgency operations at the countryside through the continuation of former President Noynoy Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan. Reports of harassment and killings executed by the state armed forces to innocent civilians, farmers, and members of indigenous groups had been increasing even if unilateral ceasefires between the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) were agreed upon.

“It is very likely for this government to intensify militarization at the countryside justified by this recent declaration. Amidst the ceasefire from both the GRP and the NDFP, state fascism is still being enforced to those who are just fighting for their rights. Innocent civilians can be accused and be branded as members of terrorist groups, subjecting them to scrutiny and political repression,” Castro stated.

Castro added up that this event might also be used to rationalize the state’s action of making the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) mandatory not just in college, but also in senior high schools. The ROTC has been infamous for its history of violence and abuses as reported from various universities in the whole country. Recently, sexual, verbal, and physical abuses in the ROTC program were exposed to the public.

“The National Union is heeding the public to be keen and alert with the development in the country’s political situation. The Filipino people will not allow for the country to traverse once more the path towards tyranny and dictatorship. We are prepared to wage a war against the continuing state fascism in the countryside and the cities,” Castro ended.#

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