By Chito Chavez
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) asserted that universities should be “a marketplace of ideas not the exclusive domain of one ideology’’.
The statement was issued in the wake of strong opposition from for the police to be deployed in school campuses.
By claiming that colleges and universities as off-limits to the police, the DILG said militant student organizations are curtailing the right of every student to hear both sides of the issue.
“The militant student organizations are, in fact, saying that only their ideology or point of view is welcome here and any attempt to weaken their hold on the discourse or introduce other points of view is “militarization,” said DILG Undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya.
He said the alleged militarization and martial law in the UP system are figments of their imagination gone overdrive.
“This is again classic Communist propaganda: using the ‘politics of fear’ to portray the government as a repressive monster to earn political pogi points from students in order to arouse, organize and mobilize the youth sector,” he said.
He challenged militant student organizations in UP to adapt to the changing times and come up with new slogans for a change.
Malaya is perplexed why student militant organizations would claim “militarization” or “Martial Law” when there are no plans to transform schools into military camps or police camps even.
“The proposal of DILG Secretary Eduardo Año is very clear. It’s to send police officers to schools to do dialogues with school administrators and students, not bringing the power of arms but bringing the power of facts, argument, and information,” he said.
“We are doing these school dialogues bringing the power of reason and information. And they seem to be afraid of that,” he added.
“Why are they so afraid of contrarian points of view? Isn’t that what academic freedom is all about? This only proves that they do not really believe in academic freedom but are really concerned about controlling the discourse in schools so that they can continue active Communist recruitment,” he said.
Malaya stressed the government cannot just turn a blind eye to the cries and anguish of parents who appeared before the Senate and who sounded the alarm about what happened to their children.
“We have no choice but to act. That is our mandate and responsibility to the people. We all know that the youth are the primary source of NPA cadres. Joma Sison and all his top lieutenants were all recruited in colleges; hence it is a major source of cadres of the Communist movement,” Malaya concluded.