To Bato and the rest of his ilk, let us declare: Long live the Filipino student activists and their parents!

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces the anti-activist witch-hunt by Sen. Bato dela Rosa and the PNP against Anakbayan and other student organizations.

Dela Rosa, who a few weeks ago declared “shit happens” after police shot dead a 3-year old girl in a bungled operation, now paints himself as “concerned” with the completely made-up stories of “missing minors.” He has shamelessly exploited private family problems to drive a wedge between some parents and their activist children with the aim of maligning activism and radicalism.

Dela Rosa’s anti-activist attack, however, has backfired, as the so-called missing students have revealed themselves as highly intellectual, articulate and mature individuals as opposed to his caricature of activist “brainwashing.” Dela Rosa has succeeded only in making himself look foolish.

The CPP also denounces PNP chief Albayalde who depicted recruitment of activists as a crime after issuing veiled threats against progressive university professors. He is now calling for a recall of past agreements between universities and the Department of National Defense which prohibits the presence of military and police forces from school campuses.

Albayalde’s proposal will surely be met with firm and united resistance by academic communities of various universities who understand that military and police presence in campuses is incongruent with academic freedom.

Student activism and radicalism is a force for change, progress, social justice and democracy. Student activists of the national democratic movement were among the most resilient in the fight against the Marcos dictatorship in the darkest days of martial law. They were among the prime movers in the uprising against the corrupt Estrada regime. They have consistently fought for the interests of the Filipino people despite the threats to life under the Duterte regime.

Without student activism, as well as activism among workers, peasants and other sectors, the Filipino people would be in a far worse situation than they are now. The toiling masses would be experiencing even worse oppression and exploitation. The Filipino people are deeply grateful for the student activists, as well as to their parents for having nurtured in their hearts a profound love for the people.

Furtheron, by waving the red banner of national democracy, these student activists have kept the flames of Bonifacio, Sakay and Recto’s nationalism burning to inspire the Filipino people in their struggle to assert the country’s sovereignty. The student activists remain among the stalwarts of Filipino patriotism and continue to be at the center of the country’s fight for genuine freedom, especially amid China’s economic and military intrusions and the regime’s treachery and sell-out.

Thus, to Bato and Duterte’s minions, let us declare: “Long live the Filipino student activists and their parents!”