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‘Di natakot! Militant youth group vows more walkouts vs ‘dictator, tyrant’ Duterte

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by Xave Gregorio

Unfazed by President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat of expelling University of the Philippines (UP) students who continued to join protests, militant youth group Kabataan Partylist vowed more walkouts from classes “to fight Duterte’s dictatorship and tyrannical attacks.”

Kabataan said Duterte’s recent remark against students who joined the National Day of Walkout Against Tyranny and Dictatorship held Thursday (February 1) exposed his “free education scam.”

“Not all will benefit; instead of guaranteeing the right of every child to education, he dangles it around every time there is opposition to his fanatical dictatorship,” Kabataan said Friday (February 2). Last August 2017, Duterte signed a law which guarantees free education for all students of state universities.

“As if education is free in UP and other state universities; many students continue to suffer from skyrocketing costs of tuition and other school fees, causing growing discontent and rage among the youth.,” Kabataan said further.

Duterte, in a speech in Davao City on Thursday, threatened to kick out students of the country’s premier state university who joined protests against his administration and replace them instead with lumad or cultural minorities from Mindanao.

However, Kabataan said the President’s statement was a farce as “communities to prolonged harassment, food blockades, heightened militarization, and killing spree” during his term.

In November last year, Duterte said he will bomb lumad schools as they were allegedly teaching students to rebel against the government.

Lumad schools had been accused of maintaining close ties with Communist rebels. One school established for the indigenous minorities, the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development, saw its executive director Emerito Samarca killed by a paramilitary group in 2015.

Back then, Duterte joined calls to stop lumad killings and advocated for the military to pull out from lumad communities.

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