Published June 30, 2022, 2:07 PM

by Faith Argosino

Raoul Manuel: Student leader is the voice of the youth

Kabataan Party-list Representative Raoul Danniel A. Manuel (Photo taken from his official Facebook account)

Raoul Danniel A. Manuel is the national president, first nominee, and representative-elect of the Kabataan Partylist for the 19th Congress.

Kabataan Partylist, formerly known as Ang Nagkakaisang Kabataan Para sa Sambayanan, is composed of various youth groups affiliated with the political party Makabayan. 

Kabataan Partylist, as its name states, represents the youth sector, and aims to “galvanize the Filipino youth for social change,” believing that the youth should “devote its intellect, energy, and courage to building a new society devoid of corruption, inequality, and social injustice.”

In reply to Manila Bulletin’s interview questions, information sent by Kabataan Partylist said Manuel graduated valedictorian in elementary at SPED Integrated School for Exceptional Children. He finished his secondary education at the University of the Philippines (UP) High School in Iloilo, as class valedictorian “with highest honors.”

In 2015, he graduated as the first summa cum laude of UP Visayas in Iloilo, where he received a degree in Applied Mathematics. He received several awards, including the Most Outstanding Graduate, and one of the BPI Outstanding OFW Children and Bagong Rizal: Pag-asa ng Bayan. 

Manuel was elected chairperson of UP Visayas College of Arts and Sciences Student Council. The year after, he served as chairperson of KASAMA sa UP (Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Mag-aaral sa UP) — the national alliance of UP student councils. He was unanimously chosen to be the Student Regent, “the sole student representative to the Board of Regents and the highest policy-making body across all campuses.” 

Manuel represented the Filipino youth in Belgium last September 2018 when the group filed cases at the International People’s Tribunal, to seek the accountability of public officials who violated human rights.

The Kabataan Partylist representative was also among the youth petitioners who questioned the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Law before the Supreme Court. He is a founding convenor of Youth Act Now Against Tyranny, an alliance of Filipino youth groups against attacks on people’s democratic rights. The group had also petitioned against the Anti-Terrorism Law, the party-list organization said.

Born on August 30, 1994, the 27-year-old party-list representative convened Rise for Education a national alliance of organizations that pushes for nationalist, scientific, and mass-oriented education. He was involved in working for the passage of the Free College Education Law or Republic Act (RA) 10931.