“Kabataan, Tayo ang Pag-asa”: A Vow of Vigilance
The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), the largest and broadest alliance of more than 650 student councils / governments / federations in the country, remains steadfast and firm in Gat. Jose Rizal’s belief that the youth is the hope of the nation. Together with the masses of the Filipino people, the youth play a pivotal role in genuine social change and emancipation.
As we commemorate the birth of one of the young Filipino martyrs who fought against oppression and inequality, the student union, together with other progressive student and youth groups, reaffirms its commitment in serving the people and in fighting for genuine national democracy.
In the midst of rampant corruption, deception and lies, the Filipino youth and the Filipino people will remain vigilant. For it is imperative to be always critical especially that the Filipino nation is still in the hands of the ruling few that control the nation’s wealth and resources. We have nothing to lose but the chains of oppression and repression and we shall not falter in resisting this kind of culture and system.
From the past regimes up to the present BS Aquino III oligarchy, the word change has been an abused word utilized by despotic leaders that do not serve but rather betray the Filipino people. No genuine social change emanates from this rotten system. Contractualization, below and inhumane minimum wage and violent attacks against labor rights abound in the working class sector while landlessness and killings of peasants and farm workers abound. The youth suffer from skyrocketing tuition and other school fees increases, with dropouts and out of school youth reaching an all time high. An anemic framework for peace furthers governement terrorism via militarization, extrajudicial killings and wanton crackdown against progressive and militant groups. Political prisoners continue to rise.
Slow, inadequate and privatized disaster “rehabilitation” programs doubly victimize the already victims and survivors of natural and man-made tragedies. The right to self determination of indigeneous peoples is always threatened by aggressive privatization and militarization of their ancestral lands, with mining corporations killing the environment and the people. There is no justice as the corrupt pork barrel system remains in tact. The justice system is as selective and oppressive as ever. These are the reasons why it is imperative for the Filipino youth to align with the masses, to live their struggles, to be the hope of the country, to resist the tsunami of apathy and conservatism, and to be at the forefront of the movement for genuine and revolutionary change.
The country’s independence is illusory and our sovereignty is perennially under attack! We can no longer remain silent! It is hubris to put our trust in those hiding behind the ruling cliques’ and Aquino’s listless and empty rhetorics. We must realize, now more than ever, that the power of collective action can change the whole pick of the story and that everyday is a chance to defeat the game of the few.
“Tayo ang Pag-asa ng Bayan” is a constant and militant remider for every Filipino youth. It is a five-word theory and practice of vigilance. It is a word of unity against individualism and selfish ambition. It is a reminder to protect the interest of the students, youth and the marginalized sectors. It is a vigilant vow to serve, protect and fight for the basic masses.