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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday threatened to stop funding state-run University of the Philippines (UP) for recruiting students to become communist rebels.

“UP? Fine, maghinto kayo ng aral. I will stop the funding. Wala nang ginawa itong ano, kundi magrecruit ng mga komunista diyan. Tapos nag-aaral kayo ang gusto niyong binibira ang gobyerno. Masyado naman nakasuwerte kayo. Wag talaga kayong manakot kasi I will oblige you,” Duterte said in his televised address.

He was reacting to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s remarks that some “loko-loko” students will stop submitting school requirements until the national government “heeds the people’s demands for proper calamity aid and pandemic response.”

Duterte said that students denouncing the government’s typhoon response should “stop schooling” so it would “save money for your parents.”

Malacañang earlier rejected calls for an “academic freeze,” saying that education was generally not affected by typhoons because in-person instruction is still prohibited due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Roque also said that the Commission on Higher Education en banc has allowed state universities and colleges to extend their academic calendars for one to two weeks.

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