NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW! REMEMBER THE LESSONS OF OUR PEOPLE’S STRUGGLE AGAINST MARCOS DICTATORSHIP TO OPPOSE VIGOROUSLY DUTERTE’S DE FACTO MARTIAL LAW! Statement of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy on the 47th Year of the Proclamation of Martial Law 21 September 2019
Today, the members of CONTEND and its allied organizations and education workers, as we remember the darkest period of our national history, solemnly reaffirm our commitment to struggle against forgetting and revising the historical interpretation of martial law. Also, we reaffirm our commitment to struggle against all forms of repression that extend the worst practices of martial law to our present situation. Remembering martial law is not just about remembering the horrible atrocities of the Marcos dictatorship against our own people, but, more importantly, giving voices to the survivors and victims of Marcos atrocities, who are still seeking justice and reparation until now. It also means struggling against the current fascist policies of the government that drastically clamp down the freedom of our people — repressing their freedom to express views contrary to the government.
The Philippines today is the most dangerous nation for human rights defenders, for environmental activists, and farmers. According to the Philippine National Police (PNP), 22,983 deaths since the “war on drugs” began are classified as “homicides under investigation.” Police have killed dozens of children since the start of the “war on drugs” in June 2016, deaths which Duterte has dismissed as “collateral damage.” Under the pretext of drug war, the US-Duterte administration has harassed and arrested human rights defenders and activists. Combined with Proclamation No. 70, the whole-of-nation approach to counter-insurgency, that weaponized all government agencies to crush communist insurgency and all forms of oppositions, and Memorandum Order No. 2, that deployed additional battalions of military in Samar, Bicol, and Negros, human rights violations have soared beyond what Marcos dictatorship horribly accomplished in 9-year martial rule. President Duterte has now 250 extrajudicial killings under his watch. Worse than the Marcos’ bloody human rights record, the fascist rule of Duterte targets media personalities, media outfits, local officials, Lumad communities and their schools, LGBT and women’s rights, teachers’ unions, students and their organizations, legitimate people’s organizations, peasant leaders, and church workers.
In the face of these horrendous assaults against civil liberties of our people and democratic institutions that our people fought during the Edsa Uprising, we, as educators and education workers enjoin our people to unite to expose and oppose the de facto martial that is currently in place in our country, not just in Mindanao. As educators, undeterred by the threats of armed agents of the state, we will teach our students the value of critical thinking, engaged citizenship, and the necessity of struggling against dark forces that want to intrude into our academic freedom.
We recognize the fact that the current political repression under the fascist rule of Duterte is the ultimate weapon of the ruling class, the oligarchs, and imperialist plunderers to create a “peaceful” and “orderly” society conducive to the nefarious pillage of our natural resources, cheap labor, and patrimony. It is in this economic context that academic freedom is under siege today.
Never before has our academic freedom been subjected to sinister threats than today under the anti-communist crusade of Senator de la Rosa. Defending academic freedom today, like during the Marcos martial rule, is not just struggling to be left alone doing our research and attending to our academic rituals. It means using that freedom to question existing ideas and the dominant ideologies that legitimize the militarization of schools and campuses. Defending academic freedom is defending our right as education workers to organize and defend the rights of the marginalized sectors of our society. It is the freedom to refuse the legitimacy of the anti-people economic policies of the present government.
So, today, we raise our clenched fist as we honor our fallen comrades —educators and students and education workers— who valiantly fought the Marcos dictatorship. In their honor, we pledge our unrelenting commitment to struggle to end Duterte’s reign of terror. To them we owe our current struggle, and for the future generations, we are bound to keep the beacon of resistance burning.
NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW!
NEVER AGAIN TO DICTATORS AND TYRANTS!
END MARTIAL IN MINDANAO NOW!
DEFEND ACADEMIC FREEDOM!
HANDS OFF OUR TEACHERS!
STOP MILITARIZATION OF LUMAD SCHOOLS AND PEASANT COMMUNITIES!
NO TO THE RETURN OF MARCOSES TO POWER!
JUSTICE TO ALL VICTIMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS! DOWN WITH STATE FASCISM!
END STATE IMPUNITY!
DOWN WITH IMPERIALISM!
Photo from LFS,
ACTIVISM IS NOT A WASTE OF YOUTHFUL LIFE! IT IS LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST IN DEFENSE OF THE POWERLESS IN THE NAME OF A JUST AND HUMANE FUTURE! Statement of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy University of the Philippines Diliman and CONTEND Organizing Committe UP Iloilo in Support of the National Day of Mourning and UP Day of Walk Out and Action 20 August 2019
The members of CONTEND and all its allied organization and individuals will join the National Day of Mourning on August 20, 2019, Tuesday. To date, 226 farmers have been killed, of whom 30 were women, 29 were elderly, and 10 were children, according to peasant women’s group Amihan. August 20 is also declared by UP Student Regent Office as “UP Day of Walkout and Action” to assert students’ “right to academic freedom to organize, and to protest.”
In solidarity with the farmers, the victims of state violence in Negros, and in defense of the rights of teachers and students to organize and protest, we will troop to the streets and march with our patriotic people and progressive organizations. We abide in the perennial wisdom of S. P. Lopez, the UP President when martial law was declared: “While I am proud of the UP’s tradition of academic excellence, which must be maintained, I would be embarrassed to see this University become an ivory tower amid a society in turmoil, indifferent to the problems that torment the nation.”
Today our people, especially our students, teachers, workers, farmers, women, and human rights defenders are experiencing the worst blow of the consequences from the bankrupt neoliberal restructuring of the economy, education, our culture –TRAIN law, rice tariffication, contractual labor, onerous loans from China, destruction of environment from mining and large plantations, massive conversions of agricultural lands into hubs of imperialist plundering operations. As our people resist and struggle to defend their lives and rights against the relentless assaults of neoliberal restructuring of our society, US-Duterte’s fascist regime has mobilized its armed agents and henchmen as well as weaponized all its ideological /propaganda agencies and repressive apparatuses to quell and smash all oppositions and resistance. The fascist regime of Duterte has launched “Oplan Sauron,” a so-called “one-time-big-time” Synchronized Enhanced Managing of Police Operations (SEMPO) to flash out supposed criminals and drug dealers, which later targeted activists and human rights defenders.
National and even international rights groups and people’s organizations have strongly condemned Oplan Sauron. The Archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, Bishop Gerry Alminaza, described the climate of brutal repression on the entire Negros Island as tantamount to martial law.
As educators and education workers, we stand with our Negros people. It is not only Negros, Samar and Bicol that are being terrorized by Opan Sauron. The armed agents of the state and its war machines are now desperately extending the scope of state terrorism to include schools together with overt vilification of teachers, students, and their organizations. The barbarism of the military is now knocking on the doors of our universities. Some schools have already been forced to open their gates for fascist barbarians to conduct mandatory drug testing and to intensify police presence inside and outside schools.
As educators and education workers, we are alarmed by Senator Ronald de la Rosa’s belligerent public statements that teachers are “brainwashing” their students to join the New People’s Army. Our University has been vilified as a hub for “deceptive recruitment”. The parents of our students are now being warned that they should watch their children vigilantly lest they fall into the deceptive traps of their Leftist teachers.
These irresponsible pronouncements from Senator de la Rosa simply reverberate the fascist strategy of the US-Duterte regime that maligns and labels all anti-government individuals and groups as “terrorists”. Such militaristic approach undermines democracy by silencing all legitimate oppositions against the government. Consequently, such vilification emboldens the police operatives to violate the rights of teachers and students as the latter are subjected to surveillance, covert monitoring.
As educators and education workers, we will not be paralyzed by this state harassment. We will continue to teach our students the value and importance of human rights in a democratic society. We will carry on our duty as transformative educators. We will be marching with our students on August 20. When students march with us, they are being initiated into the role that they will have to assume actively as adults: active citizens and leaders of Philippine society.
Our students will be the future leaders of this great nation. We, the adult ones, often complain about the social cancer afflicting our nation: corruption, economic backwardness, hopelessness, lack of discipline, and absence of national pride. Yet we deliberately prevent our children from actively analyzing and seeking solutions to these problems. We do not trust their autonomy and political judgment. Our society wants them to become clones of our traditional politicians. Hence our children feel left out as they retreat into their own private worlds of computer and other videogames, and gimmicks.
Today, we want them to be responsible and to care for our great nation. And we will not stop them when they begin to take a step towards that direction. As the young revolutionary Emilio Jacinto stated in Kartilya ng Katipunan, “Ang buhay na hindi ginugugol sa isang malaki at banal na kadahilanan ay kahoy na walang lilim, kundi damong makamandag.” Activism is not a waste of youthful life. It is living life to the fullest in the service of the victims of the current tyrannical system, and defense of the powerless in the name of a just and humane future.
DEFEND ACADEMIC FREEDOM AGAINST FASCIST ATTACKS!
HANDS OFF OUR TEACHERS!
HANDS OFF OUR SCHOOLS!
HANDS OFF OUR STUDENTS!
STOP KILLING FARMERS!
NO TO MARTIAL LAW!
EQUITABLE PROMOTION FOR ALL! NO TO CORPORATIZED DISCRIMINATORY PROMOTION! Statement of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy University of the Philippines Diliman on the Merit Promotions for Regular and Research Faculty 2019 (UP) 15 August 2019
After five years, the University is facing a promotion frenzy yet deficient in so many ways. In the face of runaway inflation and rising cost of living, promotion is a relief. However the General Guideline for Merit Promotions for Regular and Research Faculty” of 2019 is streamlined to the internationalization-orientation of the University that follows the race to the top among Universities in the region and around the world. Ironically, while the document pays lip service to promotion based on merits, it pins the standard on competition-driven vision for the University rather than addressing inequitable conditions among faculty and non-teaching staff. What is so glaring about the Guideline is the conspicuous silence on the promotion of non-teaching personnel. Or is there a separate document and Guideline for them? But then why focus only on “regular and research faculty”?
The University is not a university without the basic support of non-teaching staff, both tenured and contractual employees. In the absence of administrative support, it will be practically impossible for faculty to hold classes, collect and check papers, to enlist and enroll students, check the status of students, find pedagogical resources, proctoring, among others. The University is not the faculty alone. It is a community.
If the University is a community of inquirers who value justice, equality, and respect and honor the contribution of each member and Department, then, promotion must be for all regardless of their contributions to the University and the nation. To prioritize the faculty above other members of the community is a sign of elitism and divisive competition that is trumpeted by neoliberal shapers of the academic market.
We also are apprehensive about the criteria that will be used to assess and evaluate the promotion of faculty especially for those who have to cross ranks. Seemingly the criteria set down are prohibitive as it demands enormous productivity for faculty who must be Spartan-like to publish three to five papers in indexed or peer reviewed journals. The imperative of “publish or perish” has now writ large become the grinding machine to weed out faculty who are considered non-productive.
Indeed faculty are supposed to publish. They have to do research. But the University also has to recognize that many of our colleagues have to face the nightmare of traffic because they live outside the campus. Housing problem inside the campus is more daunting than the imperative to publish. The bureaucratic processes in the University in applying for sabbatical leave, study leave, conducting research, attending local and international conferences are debacles for faculty in conducting research and publishing the results.
The University should not be a hostage to corporatized standard or even managerialist work ethic to measure every ounce that a faculty can produce that reaps “profits” for the University to lift up its world ranking.
We urge the University and our fellow teachers to look beyond the culture of “publish or perish” and consider other creative ways that faculty contribute to our University and to the community.
We have to demand equitable promotion for all, with no member of our community left behind. Promotion should not be an occasion for self-aggrandizement but a collective effort to help one another have a better life in the University. It is not just about meritocratic betterment –the idea being sold by corporate managers of universities– but using our knowledge, skills, and resources to serve our nation.
DEBUNKING THE MYTHS ABOUT THE “FASCIST COMMUNIST LEFT” IN THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES SPUN BY SYLVIA ESTRADA CLAUDIO, DEAN OF COLLEGE OF SOCIAL WORK AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Statement of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy University of the Philippines Diliman on the Series of Facebook Posts of Dean Sylvia Estrada Claudio Vilifying and Red-Tagging the So-called “Fascist Communist Left” Teachers 1 August 2019
In the Code of Ethics [Approved at 63rd UC meeting, Dec. 8, 1998; noted at 1128th BOR meeting, Jan. 28, 1999], the faculty of the University are enjoined to:
VI. Relate with our colleagues in the spirit of cooperation, camaraderie, and professionalism;
VII. Maintain honesty and fairness in our dealings with colleagues, students, and entities outside of the University;
Further, the Faculty Manual of 2003 under 10.0 CONDUCT, RESTRICTIONS, AND DISCIPLINE stipulates the proper decorum of faculty with regard to complaint against other faculty members:
10.2.11 Complaints Against Other Faculty
No member of the faculty, officer, or employee shall publish or discuss publicly charges or complaints against any other member of the faculty, officer, or employee concerning his/her official duties or his/her private life or conduct. Any such complaint or charge shall be addressed to the proper authorities of the University for action before resorting to any other remedy available to the complaining party. [Art. 247]
In this light, the members of CONTEND UP and other allied organizations and individuals express their reservations against the series of diatribes by Sylvia Estrada Claudio, current Dean of the College of Social Work and Community Development (CSWCD), on her Facebook account, which she dubbed as “Kwentong Diliman Series.” They detail her supposed knowledge about certain fellow teachers and organizations, whom she derided as affiliated with the so-called “fascist communist Left.” In these narratives, Dean Claudio, claiming she is the self-appointed spokeswoman of the imaginary anti-fascist league in the University, vilified the said individuals and organizations as “arrogant,” “dogmatic,” “authoritarian,” “dictators,” deceitful, and violators of students’ rights.
We are alarmed by the way Dean Claudio, acting not only as a private individual, but as the Dean of CSWCD, engages in besmirching her colleagues and students of the University—furthermore in a manner forsaking verification and evidence, akin to blind-item showbiz news.
As fellow members of the academe, we do not mind Dean Claudio’s personal feelings. But we take offense against her ideological attacks against our fellow teachers alluded in her narratives of vilification.
We ask Dean Claudio: do the state and its armed agents have the exclusive monopoly to red-tag progressive groups and activists? By exempting herself as a red-tagger, Dean Claudio is being duplicitous. For she wants her cake and eat it too. She wants to red-tag the “fascist communist Left”, while deliberately exempting herself from conniving with and aiding the violence of the state. Interestingly, she even accuses the “fascist communist Left” of feigning they are in danger so they can attack without restraints those who red-tag them (Kwentong Diliman Series, Post No. 6, July 2, 10:50 AM, Facebook).
We are not paranoid. But the fear of political repression is real. Our country is now the deadliest place for land rights, fourth most dangerous country for civilians, and worst country for environmental defenders. Let us remind Dean Claudio that in the last two years, a total of 169 extrajudicial political killings took place, roughly two (2) EJKs per week while the attempted EJKs figure is 362. And many on the Left have been arrested based on trumped-up charges, with some murdered in cold blood. In fact, many of our fellow educators, just like journalists, lawyers, farmers, environmental defenders, indigenous people, and human rights advocates, have been vilified and terror-tagged simply because they are identified with Dean Claudio’s “fascist communist Left.” In the defense of these targeted educators, the academic institutions and professional organizations of these teachers had issued statements of support. In an undeclared “state of emergency,” anything that is uttered to vilify the critics of the state will always, wittingly or not, play into the hands of the armed agents of the state. The Dean cannot simply wash her hands and shrug off any political responsibility, and claim that she does not understand the concept of unintended consequences of social actions.
Also, she keeps harping about “fascist communist Left” teachers violating students’ rights! Dean Claudio alleges that Leftist teachers do not follow the official syllabi; Leftist teachers present one-sided view of issues; Leftist teachers do not listen to other arguments; Leftist teachers dismiss contrary evidence and arguments without benefit of reasoning; Leftist teachers grade students based on their Leftist leaning; Leftist teachers force students to attend rallies and demonstrations that are remote from the course outline and learning outcomes (Claudio, Kwentong Diliman Series 5, The Fascist Left Violates Students Rights, posted on Facebook June 28, 3:03 PM).
Some of these accusations are trivial, while others are of serious concern. As fellow academics, we recommend that Dean Claudio should use the proper channels to address these concerns, which she thinks is her divine calling. We do not condone these wrong practices! But we are surprised why the Dean singles out the “fascist communist Left teachers” when these practices are not endemic to them. “Policing” her fellow teachers, which the Nietzschean Left would call as neo-fascism, we believe, is far from the mind of Dean Claudio, who advocates respect for academic freedom.
We will not deal with the personal crusade of Dean Claudio. What matters for us, as her colleagues, is the administrative position she uses to enunciate ad hominems against her fellow teachers whom she dislikes personally and ideologically. We believe this is unethical behavior unbecoming of a faculty with an administrative position. This is grave abuse of academic freedom granted to her by the University, notwithstanding the fact UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan already issued a statement defending UP against red-tagging:
“Whatever academic degree they might be pursuing, our students need
to explore and appreciate the world outside of UP and to develop their
competencies, linked to social realities. This is why red baiting tactics
always alarm us because besides causing distress to students and parents, we
worry about how the red baiting will impact soldiers and police, especially in
rural areas.” (Michael L. Tan, Statement on Allegations of UP Students
Being Forced to Join NPA, January 15, 2019).
Nonetheless, we assure the Dean that we and our fellow “fascist Left” teachers she vilifies exercise our pedagogical duties according to the mission and vision of the University. She is welcome to sit in in our classes anytime.
Also, we assure Dean Claudio that when the “fascist communist Left” teachers bring their students to rallies and public demonstrations, it is not just to swell the number of participants. Far from it—such activities are symbolic forms of political socialization, normal part of social rituals of citizenship, that allow students to engage actively as citizens with current social issues. In most cases, these public activities are even sanctioned by the University (like anti-martial law rallies, anti-pork barrel mobilization, One Billion Rising, human rights, defense of Lumad communities, etc.). We do not just encourage and bring our students to rallies and demonstrations. We also require them to attend public fora and symposia, poetry readings, film showings, art exhibits, concerts, and with proper University permission, to integrate with communities in order to learn about the lives of marginalized sectors of our society.
If the Dean believes zealously that such activities are meant to indoctrinate and brainwash students, then, the reductio ad absurdum conclusion is that all forms of education are indoctrination (Claudio, Kwentong Diliman Series, Post No. 8, Recruitment or Brainwashing, Facebook Post). So we riposte the same concern for Dean Claudio: Is she not also advocating a form of brainwashing when she fanatically argues for her own vision of pedagogical ends? What makes her alternatives any better?
We do not just ask our students to attend these activities (that Dean Claudio believes are forms of brainwashing). On the contrary, we believe these activities are opportunities for conscientization. We also require our students to engage in deep and profound reflection about these experiences. And this is consistent with the mission and vision of the University to instill critical thinking and broaden their intellectual horizons. And many UP students, including faculty, have become engaged citizens because of these experiences.
It is quite regrettable that we are forced to engage with the ideological and personal resentments of Dean Claudio at an historical juncture when all our resources and efforts should singly be directed at resisting the tyranny of the current regime.
Despite our disagreements, we are always open to working with Dean Claudio, as a colleague, in resisting Duterte’s tyranny by peaceful means. But we cannot agree with her absolutist position that nominates non-violence as the ONLY morally justifiable means for system change. The question of violence is not up for us to decide in advance. To do so is sheer dogmatism.
Of course, we do not expect the good Dean to agree with our ideological and political views. Nevertheless, we expect that Dean Claudio will observe the highest ethical standard and collegial spirit that governs UP faculty (as we cited in the beginning) in criticizing us, the way she demands the same for the alleged “fascist communist Left” teachers. If she has additional grudges against us, we are willing to debate her anytime in the spirit of “free and equal contest of ideas,” as she challenges us. But as for the rest of her personal grunts, we suggest she go directly to proper University authorities. And we assure the Dean that the teachers and organization she pilloried are willing to answer her indictments using these official channels rather than going public and maligning her colleagues.
DEFEND VIGOROUSLY OUR SOVEREIGNTY AGAINST IMPERIALIST PLUNDERERS! EXPOSE AND DENOUNCE THE SHAM RHETORIC OF DUTERTE’S 4TH STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS Statement of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy on the 4th State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte 22 July 2019
The members of CONTEND UP Diliman join today all patriotic Filipinos and progressive organizations in storming the streets leading to Batasan Complex to express their indignation against the worsening fascist attacks of Duterte on the people, especially those who stridently oppose his anti-people policies.
We denounce the bloody human rights record of the Duterte administration. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) estimates that 4,948 suspected drug users and dealers died during police operations from July 1, 2016 to September 30, 2018. But this does not include the thousands of others killed by unidentified gunmen. But after three years of relentless assault on poor and helpless Filipinos, the war on drugs by the fascist government of Duterte proved to be the Trojan Horse, a destructive program that masquerades as a bogus emergency measure, misleading the people about the real problems of our nation.
The war on drugs enabled the fascist state to label more than 600 people—among them Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, and dozens of leftist activists—as members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA). As of March 2019, there are already 250 victims of extrajudicial killings in line with the government’s counter-insurgency program. These victims include human rights workers, lawyers, teachers, farmers, activists, church workers, and labor leaders—their only crimes being their solidarity with, and assistance to the marginalized and oppressed.
The gruesome killing spree of the Duterte regime is weaponized through Executive Order No. 70, which established the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and Memorandum Order No. 2 that considerably augmented deployment of military forces to Bicol, Samar, and Negros to combat communist insurgency. Mobilizing the resources of the government and pushing the fascist military to crackdown on alleged “terrorist” groups, the fascist Duterte is committing an excessive violation of people’s rights.
We denounce Duterte’s connivance in China’s imperialist intrusion into our territory. Duterte has been shamelessly trying to frighten the Filipino people by harping on the line that China would declare war on the Philippines should the latter insist on upholding and defending its sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea. We call on our people to expose Duterte’s betrayal of our Constitution and the interests of our fishermen and the integrity of our environment.
We denounce Duterte’s bogus attempts to end contractualization through the Security of Tenure and End of Endo Act of 2018, which merely regulates exploitative contractual labor rather than abolish it altogether. We denounce the continuing exodus of our people to work as OFWs. As long as our economy cannot create jobs for our people, our people will be continually forced to leave their families for a punishing life abroad.
As educators, we salute our fellow Fiipinos who have sacrificed their lives in opposing Duterte’s anti-people policies. We celebrate the victories of our workers, educators, and human rights defenders who have courageously stood up to Duterte’s tyranny.
We are call on our fellow educators and education workers to join the waves of our people trooping the streets to express our rage. Let us continue to educate our people about the sinister consequences of Duterte’s wars against our fisher-folk, women, indigenous peoples, religious leaders, human rights defenders, people’s lawyers, and educators.
Our ranks have also been the target of Duterte’s fascist wrath. Many of our fellow teachers have been subjected to state surveillance, profiling, monitoring, harassment, and threats. Our brothers and sisters in the Lumad communities have also suffered intolerable harassment and militarization. Their teachers and students had been subject to military terror-tagging.
So let our collective action today show our people what the government has been doing to our fellow teachers as we demand higher salaries, better working conditions for our teachers, protection of our academic freedom to criticize the government, and re-establishment of history and Filipino language in K+12 and tertiary education. We share our radical teachers’ efforts to safeguard our students by teaching human rights, reclaiming our history against revisionism, and advancing nationalist education.
Duterte’s three years in power have been dehumanizing and brutal. Now, it is time for us to remind the state and its armed agents that our collective voice, our organized and systematic resistance will not diminish in Duterte’s remaining years. We will not cower in the face of these threats and political repression. We will boldly intensify our resistance in order to create a better and just future for our children and generations to come.
ATIN ANG PINAS, CHINA LAYAS!
DEFEND HUMAN RIGHTS AGAINST STATE TERRORISM!
DOWN WITH IMPERIALISM!
DOWN WITH STATE FASCISM!
END STATE IMPUNITY!
DEFEND OUR PATRIMONY AND SOVEREIGNTY AGAINST IMPERIALIST PLUNDERERS!
FIGHT FOR A NATIONALIST, SCIENTIFIC, MASS-ORIENTED EDUCATION!
STAND WITH THE LUMAD SCHOOLS! AGGRESSIVELY OPPOSE THE CLOSURE OF LUMAD SCHOOLS AND MILITANTLY DEFEND THEM AGAINST TERROR-TAGGING! Statement of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy on the Temporary Closure of 55 Lumad Schools in Davao City 13 July 2019
The members of CONTEND UP Diliman express their outrage against the temporary shutdown of 55 Lumad schools in Davao operated and owned by the Salugpungan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Centers catering to indigenous peoples communities for allegedly deviating from the basic curriculum and teachings their students to rebel against the government. We strongly condemn the kowtowing of the Department of Education of Southern Mindanao to the outrageous and unfounded allegations of the report of National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr., who chairs the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
As educators and education workers, we deplore how President Duterte, by issuing Executive Order No. 70 in December 2018, establishing a whole-of-nation approach in ending local communist armed conflict through the creation of a national task force (NTF-ELCAC), has emboldened the armed agents of the state to terror-tag teachers, scholars and schools. Worse, it has now led to the closure of more Lumad schools.
As educators who welcome the Lakbayan of these national minorities in our University, as educators and education workers who volunteered in the bakwit schools, we are deeply dismayed by this ludicrous move of the Department of Education.
It is infuriating to be confronted with the fact that the Department of Education has neglected the Lumad communities for many years, and now it has the gall to close the schools the that Lumad communities had collectively built, maintained and organized.
We therefore enjoin our fellow teachers, education workers and students to express our outrage against this gross violation of the Lumad right to self-determination. The right of the national minorities to self-determination is clearly expressed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (2007). Part of this right to self-determination is the right of the indigenous people “to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.” Moreover, our Constitution stipulates the right to education of all our citizens (Article 14, Sec. 1).
By closing these Lumad schools, the Department of Education has abandoned its duty to uphold the right to education of the indigenous people. It has servilely genuflected to the whims and fascist caprices of the military. And this genuflection does not have any pedagogical merit but simply rests on mindless terror-tagging and red-baiting.
We, as educators, are proud that the military have been alarmed by the way Lumad children and students criticize the government. For we believe that the business of education is not just about acquiring knowledge and skills to become useful workers and obedient citizens of authoritarian state. The ultimate purpose of education is to challenge the status quo and debunk the myths perpetrated by the ruling class and their armed goons. Education is a weapon in the struggle for social justice.
The Lumad students and national minorities are collectively standing up against the government, especially under the fascist US-Duterte regime, because they are courageously protecting their ancestral lands and culture from the invasive genocidal interests of big businesses -mining companies and big plantation companies. And their education has taught them to resist this perverse development aggression. By closing the Lumad schools, the military in cahoots with the Department of Education hope to dispossess the Lumad the educative capacity to question this genocidal development plan. The fascist military want them to remain in state of ignorance while they are wretchedly exploited by imperialist resource-plunderers and forcibly driven out of their own lands.
In the face of these threats, harassment, and spate of Lumad killings, education is the beacon for the Lumad to defend their lives, culture, and ancestral lands.
We therefore express our full support and solidarity for the Lumad schools. As educators and education workers, we stand proudly with the fearless Lumad teachers. The government-led attacks against the Lumad schools is a direct attack against us, teachers and education workers. For closing Lumad schools is tantamount to robbing the Lumad students of their future. It is therefore an affront to us, educators, when we witness the dark forces of big businesses and imperialist plunderers descend upon our schools galloping in the chariots of state armed agents.
JUNK EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 70!
SAVE OUR SCHOOLS! STOP LUMAD KILLINGS!
DEMILITARIZE LUMAD SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES!
STOP TERROR-TAGGING LUMAD SCHOOLS!
WE STAND WITH THE LUMAD’S STRUGGLE FOR SELF-DETERMINATION!
NO TO THE CLOSURE OF LUMAD SCHOOLS!
END MARTIAL LAW IN MINDANAO NOW!
The Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy UP Diliman denounces the political harassment being perpetrated against the members of All UP Academic Employees Union, Iloilo Chapter by profiling their members through the request of the Philippine National Police! Hands Off Our Teachers! Unionism Is Not A Crime! End State Fascism!