Kabataang Makabayan stands with the Filipino masses who are enraged by the regime’s audacity to storm into an academic institution with military, paramilitary, and police personnel, brutalize Lumad students and teachers, illegally arrest them, and still call it a “rescue operation.”
The earlier raid of a Lumad bakwit school in the University of San Carlos (USC) Talamban Campus, wherein 21 lumad students were illegally arrested along with two Lumad elders and two Lumad teachers, is a continuation of the Duterte regime’s outright and incessant attack on national minorities who have continuously been at the forefront of the fight against human rights violations, land grabbing, and militarization in their communities.
During the past year, the fascist Duterte regime brought unrivaled terror to the countryside. Nine Moro peasants were killed by the PNP in North Cotabato, a Manobo tribe leader was decapitated in Magpet, Igorot communities suffered indiscriminate firing, harassment, and illegal arrests during the military’s prolonged occupation of their villages, Aetas in Zambales were tortured by the military’s 7th Infantry Division (7ID) and subsequently became the first to be charged under the Anti-Terror Act, and Tumandok leaders were massacred and others were arrested in Capiz. All the while, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has continued bombing, intimidating, and exploiting Lumad communities in Mindanao.
Since the start of Duterte’s rule, 166 Lumad schools have been forcibly shut down and hundreds of thousands of communities have been left no choice but to evacuate because of intensified militarization. Plainly, the Lumad youth have long sought to flee from the clutches of the AFP and PNP.
How does the state expect the people to believe that they were there to rescue the same people their fascist butchers were out in the countryside to terrorize?
There is no sanctuary for human rights under the Duterte fascist regime.
This is a brazen assault not only against the rights of Lumad students, but also the academic integrity of the USC. Coming not long after the Department of National Defense’s (DND) pronouncements to cancel the UP-DND accord as well as other such agreements with different state universities and colleges, this displays how much the state is willing to abuse its power and trample on freedoms to ensure and strengthen its tyrannic rule.
Duterte is growing increasingly concerned about the consolidation of the people’s strength and sentiment. He wants, at all costs, to prevent the masses from waging bigger campaigns to protest the worsening economic situation and the regime’s lackluster band-aid solutions, coupled with a disastrous coronavirus pandemic response. Simply, it is Duterte’s worst nightmare realized should the youth and students storm their schools, colleges, and universities and flood the streets arm-in-arm with workers, peasants, and the national minority.
Make Duterte’s worst nightmare a reality!
Hold the regime accountable for its atrocities against the national minority!
Free Lumad 25!