UPHOLD AND DEFEND HUMAN RIGHTS AGAINST STATE-SPONSORED TERRORISM OF THE US-DUTERTE REGIME! FIGHT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS TO END STATE DESPOTISM AND WANTON IMPUNITY Statement of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy University of the Philippines, Diliman on the Celebration of International Human Rights Day 10 December 2018
The members of CONTEND today join all our patriotic people and progressive people’s organization in marching to the streets to protest and to resist the intensifying violations of human rights perpetrated against human rights defenders, Lumad students and their teachers, the Lumad communities, members of urban poor communities, peace consultants and advocates, church workers who pursue just and lasting peace under the current US-China Duterte Administration.
As teachers, who are bound to teach human rights, who have the duty to defend human rights against state terrorism, we are dismayed by the recent United Nations report which names the Philippines as one of the countries whose governments subject human rights defenders and activists to “an alarming and shameful level of harsh reprisals and intimidation”.
Today we express our disquiet against the irresponsible statements of our misogynist fascist President that some of our fellow Filipinos deserve to die especially the poor suspected drug users and pushers because they do not have rights. The poor get the bullets while the accused plunderers like Imelda Marcos and Bong Revilla get to roam freely. We are disgusted by President Duterte’s threats and tongue-lashings against human rights advocates whom he labeled as “terrorists” and communist sympathizers.
The reign of terror under the tyrannical rule of Duterte has enabled and emboldened the repressive state agents to harass legitimate people’s organizations, to propagate red-tagging of universities, to close Lumad schools, and to arrest peace consultants by charging them with fabricated cases.
As educators, we express strong condemnation against the arrest of our fellow public-school teacher, Rep. France Castro of Alliance of Concerned Teachers Partylist (ACT) in Davao del Norte, in her effort to provide relief to the Lumad students who were harassed by military and para-military groups. This attack against Rep. Castro and her companions is a flagrant scheme of state forces to silence the critics of government. Our government has already denied the right of Lumad to free education. Now it intends even to close the schools.
The state-sponsored terrorism is made more monstrous by President Rodrigo Duterte’s Memorandum Order No. 32 ordering the deployment of more troops to parts of the Visayas and the Bicol region. From May 23, 2017 to November 30, 2018, with the imposition of martial in Mindanao, Karapatan has documented 88 individuals killed by soldiers, police and paramilitary groups, and 128 victims of frustrated killings. At least 1,450 have been illegally arrested; while a least 148 individuals are being harassed with trumped-up criminal charges. Memorandum Order No. 32, which extends martial law geographically beyond Mindanao, will no doubt translate to more human rights violations. And now the military are dashing to extend martial law in Mindanao for another year. These military maneuvers are sinister tactics to suppress people’s growing restiveness in Mindanao, especially among the Lumad and landless peasants, to pave the way for the smooth and unbroken entry of transnational corporations to the resource-rich region.
In the face of this ghastly state fascism, we, members of CONTEND, will not be intimated. We will not recoil from teaching “rebellious ideas” about human rights to our students. Historically, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and The Citizen in 1878, as the aftermath of the glorious bourgeois French Revolution, led to the fall of monarchy and feudalism. So today, as teachers, we urge all our fellow educators to stand our ground in defending human rights against Duterte’s tyranny. If we will not defend and uphold human rights now, our nation will be at the mercy of those who wield power and who rule with uncontested impunity.
Uphold human rights!
Defend human rights against state fascism!
Justice to all victims of human rights violations!
End martial law in Mindanao now!
Stop harassing human rights defenders and advocates!
Free all political prisoners!
Free Rey Claro Casambre and Patricia Cora Casambre!
No to Duterte’s Memorandum Order No. 32!
Stop militarization of Lumad communities!
FREE REP. FRANCE CASTRO OF ALLIANCE OF CONCERNED TEACHERS PARTYLIST AND ALL THOSE DETAINED IN TALAINGOD, DAVAO DEL NORTE BASED ON TRUMPED UP CHARGES: JOINT STATEMENT OF THE CONGRESS OF TEACHERS/EDUCATORS FOR NATIONALISM AND DEMOCRACY AND THE INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE OF PEOPLE STRUGGLES COMMISSION 11
We join the resonant clamor of our patriotic people and all progressive sectors of Philippine society in demanding for the immediate release ACT Teachers Partylist Representative France Castro, former Bayan Muna Partylist Congressman Satur Ocampo and companions. They were illegally arrested on November 28, 2018 and are now detained in Talaingod, Davao del Norte. They are facing trumped-up charges of child trafficking and kidnapping in relation to Republic Act 7610 or the anti-child abuse law.
We are enraged by this act of barbarism perpetrated by the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, the Philippine National Police, and their paramilitary groups operating in the area. The preposterous lies and false charges concocted by these fascist forces against the members of the humanitarian mission to help Lumad schools are brazen acts enacted with no other goal but to suppress and terrorize concerned groups and individuals who desire to protect the welfare of the students and teachers in Lumad schools.
The arrest of the members of the humanitarian mission is a tactic of the military to isolate the Lumad schools and forcibly close them down. The military terrorizes Lumad communities in the name of flushing out alleged communists. Condoned and encouraged by the thoughtless pronouncements of President Duterte from bombing Lumad schools to hunting down and killing all communists and their supporters, military atrocities in Martial Law-stricken Mindanao are committed every day, with no end in view.
We urge all our fellow educators and workers in the educational sector to mobilize and organize to support the immediate release of Rep. France Castro and Satur Ocampo. Both have worked tirelessly for the welfare of public and private school teachers, lobbied for the advancement of the well-being of teachers and students, and have consistently supported the struggle of the Lumad for the right to self-determination.
We likewise ask of our fellow teachers and our students to dispel lies and disinformation disseminated by the military about Lumad communities. We need to maximize the use of our classes, lectures, and social media accounts to expose the intensifying attacks and harassment of the military establishment against progressive educators and schools supportive of the national minority’s struggle for self-determination.
The puppet Philippine State has historically been indifferent to the educational welfare of the Lumad in Mindanao. And now that Lumad communities have collectively constructed and been running their own schools with assistance from people’s organizations, NGOs and religious institutions, the same entity that treated the Lumad with criminal neglect aims to close than their schools? The Duterte government should not expect any of us to accommodate even an iota its contemptible and morally reprehensible actions toward the Lumad in Mindanao. As members of the education sector, let us stand with the Lumad and defend them from the fascist attacks of the military and paramilitary groups.
Free Talaingod 17 now!
Free Rep. France Castro of ACT Partylist now!
Save our Schools! Stop Lumad killings!
Defend the right to self-determination of the Lumad and other national minorities!
Down with state fascism!
Stop the militarization of Lumad communities!
LEARN FROM THE REVOLUTIONARY HEROISM OF BONIFACIO! ADVANCE THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC STRUGGLE OF OUR PEOPLE AMIDST THE INTENSIFYING FASCISM OF THE US-CHINA DUTERTE REGIME Statement of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy University of the Philippines, Diliman on the 155th Birth Anniversary of the Great Revolutionary Andres Bonifacio 30 November 2018
As we commemorate the 155th birth anniversary of the “great plebeian” revolutionary, Andres Bonifacio, the members of CONTEND UP Diliman join our people, especially the workers, in advancing Bonifacio’s struggle in its new form, our people’s national democratic struggle. Faced with intensifying assault of the US-China Duterte regime against the economic rights of our people, the brutal disregard for basic human rights of the poor, the crackdown on Leftist organizations and their mass leaders, the wanton misogynistic denigration of women, and the escalating harassment of Lumad communities and schools, CONTEND stands with our restive people and all patriotic sectors of our society in opposing these fascist and anti-people policies.
As educators we are dismayed, but not disheartened and frightened, by the threats perpetrated by the repressive state agents of our fascist state. We will not cower amidst the intimidation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) against educators and schools. We will continue to teach “rebellious ideas”. We will stand our ground in the face of the PNP-concocted “Red October plot” that “red-tagged” schools and universities as seedbeds of terrorism. To teach is to create rebels. The essence of education is to create minds who will torn asunder the yoke of oppression based on false beliefs and oppressive practices. The critical education of Bonifacio coupled with his personal engagement with fellow colonized Filipinos molded his mind to become a “rebel”. He used his knowledge and education to repudiate the travesty of our sovereignty by the colonizers. So we say with Bonifacio, “And so, my brethren, prepare yourselves for the fight and rest assured that victory will be ours, for righteousness and the sanctity of duty are on our side.”
As educators we do not simply teach to create rebels without a cause. We do not teach disobedience for the sake of anarchistic nonconformity. Rather we teach our students to question ruthlessly all existing social realities, not only to deprogram their minds from false and repressive beliefs and practices, but to use these radical ideas to transform our society.
We urge our fellow educators to emulate Bonifacio’s revolutionary practice and aspirations. Like Bonifacio, we should bring and encourage our students to live with the oppressed sectors of our society. In these immersions, our students can apply and sharpen their analysis of our society. They can learn from the values of our militant workers and peasants and to begin remolding themselves against their petty bourgeois habits and values. These pedagogical engagements should guide our students to denounce the continuing dehumanization of our workers and peasants! Our classroom lectures and discussion should enable our students to understand why the tax reform law should be vigorously opposed as anti-poor. Like Bonifacio, we should teach our students to side with oppressed and exploited against their oppressors.
In the age when scholars and policy makers are skeptical about nationalism, we should teach our students the value of anti-imperialist nationalism that will challenge the sinister economic and cultural imperialism of US and China. We will join our fellow educators who defend Filipino language as medium to advance our national culture. For our national language is a weapon to resist cultural genocide. So today with Bonifacio we shout in clinched fist: “Mabuhay! Long live the sovereign people of the Philippines!”
LONG LIVE THE REVOLUTIONARY LEGACY OF BONIFACIO!
DOWN WITH STATE FASCISM!
DOWN WITH IMPERIALISM!
DOWN WITH BUREAUCRAT CAPITALISM
STOP THE FASCIST BARBARIANS FROM INVADING OUR CAMPUSES AND COMMUNITIES! DEFEND THE PUBLIC USE OF REASON AGAINST DESPOTISM! Statement of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy University of the Philippines Diliman on the Alleged “Red October Plot” that Implicates UP and Other Schools to the Communist Plot to Oust President Duterte 7 October 2018
The members of CONTEND condemn the blatant witch hunting of the PNP/AFP by red-tagging schools as active sites for recruiting NPAs (New People’s Army) for the so-called “Red October”, a plot to oust President Duterte. Without any solid evidence to back their allegations, without even an iota of philosophical argument to support their anti-communist scare, the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) is directly defaming schools, demonizing students and teachers who are allegedly supporting the communist-led plot to oust Duterte this October.
The anti-communist mania of the AFP is instigated by the tyrannical whims of President Duterte to justify his intensifying crackdown against Leftists, activists, and human rights advocates and all vocal critics of the government. Shocked and rattled by the growing collective criticisms from both Left and non-Left, even from the rants of ordinary people, the US-Duterte administration is frenziedly looking for a scapegoat to explain away its incompetence in solving the runaway inflation, to contain the embarrassing blunders of Mocha and other Duterte apologists, to save itself from anti- Marcos protests, to save face from the epic failure of the drug war, to conceal the half-hearted attitude of people towards federalism and constitutional change, and to defend itself from the flak it drew from denigrating women.
The US-Duterte administration is desperate to quell and quash the mounting opposition from our restive people. The International People’s Tribunal has judged Duterte guilty of massive human rights violations. He has a case at the ICC (International Criminal Court). His popularity is zig-zagging in every public opinion survey as his policies and pronouncements betray his tyrannical predispositions. The AFP is now tasked to shield Duterte from all threats, both real and imagined, through its preemptive tactics to “neutralize” all impending collective protests, rallies and strikes. Martial law is knocking already on the gates of our freedom-loving nation.
As educators and educational workers, we will not be frightened and dissuaded by these brutal schemes, once used by the Marcos regime, and now being employed by the fascist rule of Duterte against teachers and students. As educators we condemn this fascist crackdown on our legitimate students’ and teachers’ organizations. We will continuously support our students and our fellow educators who will expose the anti-people’s policies of this government as we exercise our critical thinking and academic freedom. We will defend our students and fellow teachers in organizing and joining legitimate people’s organizations to resist any move that will impose martial rule on our people.
We will not cower in the face of this fascist threat that will emasculate our rights and duties as teachers. Now, more than ever, we are challenged to educate our students to throw off the chains of immaturity of their reason. We will carry on our duty to debunk fake news generated by the ideological apparatuses of the state and combat the red scare tactics being employed by the repressive arms of the state against our schools. We are paid by people’s taxes and money precisely to carry out the duty to exercise our public reason free from authoritarian machination.
The fascist barbarians are knocking at the gates of our academic institutions. As teachers and educational workers, let us unite to resist the invasion of our academic grounds by the fascist arms of the state. Let us keep our schools safe for cultivating the freest exercise of public reason against authoritarian rule. This intimidation perpetrated by the armed agents of the fascist state will not deter us from defending our rights to peaceful assembly, free speech, and the right to collectively criticize political ideas and social currents that stifle our freedom to criticize all forms despotism both inside and outside our schools!
WAG MATAKOT! MAKIBAKA!
DOWN WITH FASCISM!
STOP RED TAGGING SCHOOLS!
AFP/PNP HANDS OFF OUR SCHOOLS!
NO TO MILITARIZATION OF SCHOOLS!
NO TO CRACKDOWN AGAINST LEFTIST ORGANIZATIONS!
DEFEND ACADEMIC FREEDOM AGAINST FASCIST ATTACKS!
STOP DEMONIZING LEGITIMATE PEOPLE’S ORGANIZATIONS!
TO ORGANIZE AND TO MOBILIZE ARE RIGHTS OF TEACHERS AND EDUCATIONAL WORKERS! LET US JOIN OUR TEACHERS AS THEY FIGHT AGAINST NEOLIBERAL REFORMS TO CREATE A BETTER WORLD FOR OUR CHILDREN Statement of All UP Workers’ Alliance, Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism, Democracy, Alliance of Contractual Employees of the University of the Philippines Diliman, and Save Our Schools UP on the Celebration of World Teachers’ Day 5 October 2018
The All UP Workers’ Alliance, the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, and the Alliance of Contractual Employees of UP Diliman salute and greet all teachers today, especially Filipino teachers, for their unwavering commitment to educate and care for our young people. Without teachers our nation will be a place of illiterate and philistine citizens. Yet our government does not even recognize the emotional labor and sacrifices of our teachers. Today with the savagery of neoliberal reforms that make public schools accountable for each cent invested on education, our teachers are saddled with herculean tasks that rob them of their time to explore and train to be better teachers. They are tasked to carry out multiple roles to cope with the less personnel and dwindling budget for hiring additional qualified personnel.
According to ACT Partylist, the budget for the Department of Education will slashed by 9.94%, while the Commission on Higher Education will have 0.18% cut. The budget of DepEd proposed P116 billion for the construction of school buildings but the DBM only approved P10.2 billion. This budget for construction of school buildings is 83.29% less than the budget in 2018. DepEd also proposed 5,487 additional positions for non-teaching personnel but DBM only approved 455 positions. Items under Learning Tools and Equipment and Textbooks and other instructional materials were also slashed by P3.68 billion and P1.19 billion respectively. The budget of State Universities and Colleges will also be slashed by 55.15% in Capital Outlay while the Commission on Higher Education will have budget cuts in their different scholarship programs. The Higher Education Development Fund will be slashed by 15.5%, Scholarship Grant for Dependents of Sugar Industry Workers will be cut by 17%, the K to 12 transition program will be slashed by 16.33% and the CHED Grants to Medical students will not be funded in the proposed 2019 budget.
This neoliberal policy to cut government spending and allow more private schools to invest in education is fundamentally taking a toll on public teachers who have to assume multiple tasks and roles in order to carry out their duties. While they grapple with the problem of dwindling budget, teachers also have to face gigantic loans as they cope with inflation and rising cost of living.
Faced with these perennial problems, some teachers suffer physical exhaustion while others endure psychological breakdown from pressures both inside and outside of the schools, and in extreme cases, some choose to end their lives.
Teaching is a noble profession. But our government merely pays lips service to this truism. Today however in the face of drastically reorienting our educational system in the image of free market and entrepreneurial education, managerial control of schools, contractualization of educational labor, churning out customers out students, our society has overburdened our teachers and robbed them of their self-worth. Teachers have long been clamoring for higher salaries for government employees, with the record high inflation (at 6.4 % in September), their salaries can no longer keep up with the daily expenses. Instead of worrying about their school plans and projects, teachers have also to worry about their daily economic expenses.
So, today we proudly join our fellow teachers as they march to the streets to protest this escalating dehumanization. Teachers are not just public servants. They are also public intellectuals. To organize and to mobilize to demand for their rights and dignity are part of being a teacher. One cannot teach with dignity in a situation that debases the humanity of teachers. Teachers and educational workers cannot simply relinquish their voices to institutions that are supposed to protect their rights because these institutions have already been co-opted by the system. They need to organize collectively to have stronger bargaining power. They need to be heard. It is their right to collectively defend themselves against a system that constantly thump their rights and quash their voices in the name of professionalism. How can the system demand professionalism and political neutrality when the system puts the teachers in a very immoral and demeaning situation that are politically generated?
To regain control of our lives as educators and educational workers, to become better public servants and teachers, we have to stand and oppose the further erosion of our condition as educators. We cannot just rely on legislation and charitable gratis from the government and political patrons. Teachers and educational workers must regain and assert their voices in the face of the powers that-be!
So if you are reading this statement, thank a teacher by joining them in their struggle for a better teaching condition and a future free from neoliberal menace.
STRUGGLE FOR SCIENTIFIC, NATIONALIST MASS-BASED EDUCATION!
DOWN WITH NEOLIBERAL REFORM OF EDUCATION!
UPGRADE TEACHERS’ SALARY NOW! P25, 000 FOR TEACHER 1!
OPPOSE BUDGET CUTS ON EDUCATION!
NO TO COMMERCIALIZATION, NO TO PRIVATIZATION OF EDUCATION!
MEMORY IS THE WEAPON OF THE WEAK; FORGETTING SERVES THE INTERESTS OF THE MIGHTY! Militantly Resist The Marcoses’ Return To Power, Oppose Duterte-Style Dictatorship! Statement of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy University of the Philippines Diliman on the 46th Commemoration of the Declaration of Martial Law 21 September 2018
The members of CONTEND join today our people—especially the victims and survivors of martial law under the Marcos dictatorship, and their families—in remembering the darkest period of our nation’s history. As teachers, we believe that those who control the memory of the past control our present and future. Thus, history can never be left solely to politicians, whether they are democratic or authoritarian. History is not the property of a political doctrine or the regime it serves. History is the people’s symbolic control of how we remember those who have been silenced. The Marcoses and their allies, including the Dutertes, can manipulate and distort history. But they cannot eliminate it in the narratives of those who survived.
As teachers, it is our solemn duty and responsibility to teach and keep alive these memories by sharing them with the younger generations, thereby resisting social amnesia. We have to teach against the willful forgetting that the Marcoses and their apologists want our people to do.
The Marcos family tells its victims and survivors to “move on.” Our protest and collective ritual of remembering today is our shared symbolic act, part of fighting this barbarism of the Marcoses, who want to create a community not of remembrance, but of organized, systematic, and deliberate forgetting.
As educators, we teach history so that memory becomes a tool of the small and weak. Forgetting serves the interests of the big and mighty. In this way, memory manifests itself as an alternative moral imagination in opposition to the logic of power. We therefore solemnly pledge to continuously teach history without revisions, without erasures. This is the only way we can honor the heroism and sacrifices of the 72 heroes and martyrs of our University, and the countless others who suffered under the Marcos dictatorship.
Recently, the Marcoses slyly attempted to seize the narrative by holding the reunion of the Kabataang Barangay (KB) on the very grounds of our University, on August 25, 2018 at Bahay ng Alumni. Our students, faculty, and alumni did not waste time in collectively denouncing this travesty upon the revered values and militant anti-fascist tradition of our University. Upon the impassioned instigations of faculty, students, and alumni, UP formally declared September 21 as a day of remembering of martial law on September 17, 2018. Our president, who participated in that infamous reunion, was compelled to apologize publicly and proclaim that UP will never be a home for dictators and fascist leaders and an instrument for oppressive regimes.
This shows that even when dictators are defeated, their totalitarian specter still haunts us. As a community, we must always be vigilant and guard against the encroachment of dictators, would-be dictators, and fascists who will use our University as their conduit and bribe our officials to advance their sinister interests. The unholy alliance of Duterte with the Marcoses, and the empowerment of the heinous former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, wholly underscore this administration’s tyranny.
We urge our fellow teachers, with their classes and students, to join our people in the collective struggle against forgetting, revisions, and historical erasures. Let us teach our students to steadfastly oppose all forms of dictatorship, especially the current administration that has violated human rights, persecuted the critics of the government, imposed martial law in Mindanao, threatened to bomb Lumad schools, reinstated and enabled the most sinister figures in our history, threatened to expel our militant students, and willfully manipulated our laws and legal institutions to impose its power against the will of the people. Let us demand this of those who keep saying that we should “move on”: Address first the question of social justice. There can never be forgiveness and reconciliation if the agents of the Marcos dictatorship continue to deny their guilt and actively suppress the continuing legacy of the people’s resistance.
We must teach our students to join national democratic organizations to expose and resist the attempt of the Duterte administration to whitewash the crimes committed by the Marcoses in the name of patronage politics. Let us join all our patriotic people and progressive organizations as we shout:
NO REVISIONS! NO ERASURES!
NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW!
NO TO THE RETURN OF THE MARCOSES TO POWER!
DOWN WITH STATE FASCISM!
JUSTICE TO ALL THE VICTIMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS!
END MARTIAL LAW IN MINDANAO NOW!