Following the death of a student leader, the Commission on Higher Education-Region VII said it would monitor student organizations in schools. A CHED official also said he sees nothing wrong with military visiting schools. Youth leaders condemned this saying that the CHED should not allow itself to be used by the military in their campaign to silence students.
BY RITCHE T. SALGADO
CEBU CITY – Student and youth leaders in this city picketed the office of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) – Region VII, Sept.30. They condemned the Commission’s statement that it would monitor progressive youth organizations in colleges and universities.
The CHED statement came amid the military’s claim that campus groups are front organizations of the Communist Party of the Philippines –New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). The issue came up after Rachelle Mae Palang, a recent passer of the Nursing Licensure Examination and a graduate of Velez College, was killed in an alleged encounter between the military and the NPA in Negros Oriental.
Palang was former vice president for the Visayas of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) and three-time editor-in-chief of Vital Signs, the official student publication of Velez College in Cebu.
However, in an interview early this week, the commission categorically denied issuing such a statement.
CHED 7 Officer-in-Charge Candelario M. Aytona said, “Ang (pagmonitor sa) mga organizations responsibility sa mga schools. Gamay rana (nga task) para sa among opisina (The monitoring of organizations is the school’s responsibility. That is such a trivial task for our office to focus on).” He added that their office has no direct jurisdiction over student organizations.