Only 15, Student Confronts Military-Backed Political Repression in Quezon City School

In a letter sent by Palatino to the DepEd, the legislator said “the waiver, as a prerequisite for enrolment, is an affront to students’ constitutional rights to organize, freedom of expression, and access to education. Our laws do not permit students to be stripped of their rights to express their views and opinions and petition the government or school authorities for redress of grievances. Our laws prohibit schools from using such waivers to limit the youth’s access to education – especially secondary education. On the contrary, our laws encourage schools to aid students’ active fulfillment of their vital role in nation-building.”

The school only allowed her to enroll on June 8, after the dialogue with the DepEd and after the intercession of the Kabataan party-list group. She is now in third year high school.

Harassment of LFS Members

Teri Ridon, secretary-general of the LFS, said Tubera’s case “only shows that even officials from the Department of Education are now part of the state security forces that harass members of legal democratic organizations like the LFS.”

The LFS is a progressive youth organization that was one of those that defied the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and is among the groups that organize protests against the Arroyo regime. The group has been tagged as a front organization of the communist New People’s Army and, as a result, they have suffered harassment by the military.

Ridon said the military goes around schools and universities accusing – through forums and video presentations — the LFS and other progressive groups as communist fronts, a charge the military does not deny. Military officials have long insisted that these front organizations are helping the New People’s Army (NPA) and are organizing students to join these protests or join the NPA.

Ridon said the red-tagging has put the lives of LFS members in danger. “We are not armed,” he said. “And what if we are fighting for education, against human-rights violations and for the promotion social justice? Shouldn’t everyone be fighting with us for this cause?” Ridon said.

Young activists, some of them members of the LFS and other youth groups, have been victims of extrajudicial killings and other human-rights abuses in the Philippines. According to human-rights groups, more than 1,000 Filipinos, mostly activists, have been killed since 2001 and hundreds more have disappeared.

A Phase in the Struggle

Tubera said she is happy now that she is finally enrolled. Although the DepEd officials did warn her that the school might still find a way to get rid of her, Tubera smiled when she said she felt otherwise. “I think that they would instead allow me to pass me in every subject and to eventually graduate and leave Culiat High School,” she said in jest.

Ridon said that he is confident that Tubera will overcome her ordeal. “Her own father told Kate that this is really a phase in the struggle that we, as activists, are all in,” he said.

Cadiogan, however, insists that this is just a small victory. “There was no real gain in the struggle that Kate got herself into,” she told Bulatlat. “It was all a matter of reclaiming what was already hers to begin with.” (Bulatlat.com)

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4 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. kaibigang joven madali mo lang sabihin yan kc hindi mo pa alam kung gaano tayo binubusabos ng gobyerno..hindi bat gobyerno ang dapat mangalaga sa mamamayan para magkaroon ng maganda at maayos na buhay ang sambayanan..at isa pa obligasyon ng gobyerno na pangalagaan tayong mga mamamayan nya…at walang dahilan para mag-aklas ang mga tao kung tama ang ginagawa ng gobyerno para sa nasasakupan niya……subukan mong alamin ang kalagayan ng lipunan bago mu sabihin ang mga ganyan bagay….

  2. sino po pla nilalabanan natin? ang lahat ay nakukuha sa magandang usapan. magkaisa tayo kasi at hanapan ng solusyon ang ating mga problema. Hindi yong magkaisa para i-exploit ang isyu at kumbinsahin ang apektado na lumaban laban sa gobyerno. Dapat ay hindi ganyan, mga kaibigan. ang dapat gawin ay magkaisa para labanan ang kahirapan. Isa pa, JFK says: DON'T ASK WHAT THE GOVERNMENT CAN DO FOR YOU, ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR THE GOVERNMENT. sukran…

  3. ito ang katas ng

    chacha 0 con-ass

    pasismo sa lahat ng mga

    kabataang makabayan,

    linalabag ni2 ang

    KARAPATAN PANG TAO

    ng ma3yan kayadapat

    makiisa at lumaban

  4. Its hard to believe this is happening to our country, It seems like the Philippines under the martial law, Era! Or is it that it is in UNDERCLARE MARTIALS LAW! Thats exactly what is happening. If Gloria Arroyo, Succeeded on her cha cha train she well be in power forever. Things will get worse! I'll say, Ditch her out because she is the problem. Gloria Arroyo, Don't deserve to stay from her stolen power a minute longer. Ditch her out!

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