The members of CONTEND and all its allied groups and individuals encourage all UP students to go out on April 11 to elect their “true” representatives, student leaders who will stand for students’ rights and welfare, leaders who will defend and advance scientific, nationalist, mass-oriented education and fight for genuine democratic reforms inside and outside our University.

As teachers and educators and educational workers in the University of the Philippines, we urge our students to select only those student leaders who have a long track record in fighting for students’ rights and welfare.  We strongly believe that  those student leaders who have stood with the marginalized sectors of our society, who have devoted part of their time in the picket lines of workers, who have volunteered in Lumad schools, who have joined the barricades of urban poor threatened by demolition, who have danced with women to end all forms of sex-related violence, and who remained steadfast and undeterred against the threats of state fascism, are the true leaders of our students. The solidarity shown by these students towards the marginalized sectors of our society provides them with the proper political vision and ideological orientation that will safeguard and defend the rights of our students. Only those who have profound solidarity and love for our marginalized fellow Filipinos can have genuine love for our students.

In this trying times when state fascism has intensified its assaults against all oppositions, when all forms of resistance are meted with red-tagged tagging, when defending human rights  is seen as  a crime, when press freedom is only freedom for pro-administration spin doctors to create fake news, when students who integrate with the farmers are considered as supporters and sympathizers of “terrorists”, we must support student leaders who are unwavering in their commitment to emancipate, not only their fellow students from the shackles of conservatism and post-modern cynicism, but the rest of our fellow poor Filipinos.

We urge all our students to look beyond the parochial issues of our University. We must enlarge our political imagination to see the necessary links between the problems of our University with the burning issues of our semicolonial society. Fighting for a nationalist education in our University means joining our people’s resistance against the encroachment of our sovereignty and plunder of our resources by imperialist forces and businesses. Fighting for “free education” means joining our workers and landless farmers who are also fighting for better and humane wages and genuine land reform. To fight for a mass-oriented education means to struggle for accessible education for all especially the sons and daughters of landless farmers and workers. To fight for scientific education means sending our students to rural poor communities, to factories, to striking workers for them to share their knowledge and skills with our national minorities, fisher-folks, farmers, and poor rural mothers.

We urge strongly our students to look back at the long and glorious history of student activism in our University. Only those who keep the light burning in the darkest hour of fascist terror and dictatorship can lead our students to be the beacons of non-reformist social reforms in unison with the struggle of our oppressed people to build a future society where justice, equality, prosperity and peace reign.

Fight for nationalist, scientific, and mass-oriented education!

Down with commercialized, market-driven education!

Down with fascist and repressive education!




TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS, LET’S TEACH TOWARDS THE EMANCIPATION OF WOMEN WHO “HOLD UP HALF THE SKY!” LET’S FIGHT ALONGSIDE WOMEN TO END ALL FORMS OF OPPRESSION! Statement of the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy on the celebration of International Working Women’s Day 8 March 2019



The members of CONTEND UP Diliman join today all Filipino women and all the working women of the world in celebrating International Women’s Day. We salute all women who “hold up half the sky,” as they struggle to advance their emancipation, and in so doing, contribute to the historic liberation of humanity from all forms of oppression and exploitation.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, initiated by the Russian women in 1917 as a prelude to the Russian Revolution, we join today the clamor of Filipino working women, as well as unemployed mothers and daughters, for higher wages in the midst of unrelenting inflation due to TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion). Filipino women demand the end of labor contractualization, and demand justice for their family members who were murdered by the armed agents of the state in Duterte’s drug war and counter-insurgency war. They demand that the state stop militarization and harassment on Lumad land, and let the Lumad refugees safely return to their homes and resume normal lives.

As educators and workers in the educational sector, we recognize the many women in our ranks who teach and nurture young minds—even as the state threatens teachers who join unions. We also acknowledge the dismal conditions suffered by our teachers and educational workers, as they are subjected to surplus exploitation, forced to do duties beyond their work, and plunged into debt. We therefore support women teachers who demand better working conditions, higher salaries, and better benefits for women.

Despite newly enacted laws such as the Extended Maternity Leave, and the Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act of 2017 that seeks to penalize catcalling, wolf-whistling, cursing, leering, and groping, among others, women are still struggling to defend themselves and exercise their rights amidst conditions that promote and preserve oppression and violence. In the countryside, women agricultural workers and their families are going hungry; their poverty is rooted in landlessness and exacerbated by oppressive neoliberal economic policies such as the new rice tariffication law. Women form a large percent of contract workers in factories and the service industry, and work under unsafe and unhealthy conditions, with inadequate pay and uncertainty of tenure. The country’s domestic workers or kasambahay are overwhelmingly women, driven to endure measly pay and meager benefits because of a lack of employment opportunities. To earn more, many of them become overseas workers: vulnerable to abuse, cut off from their children and families, fed by a capitalist state to an insatiable global market. Working mothers, single mothers, and unemployed mothers have to contend with the rising costs of basic goods and the lack of quality, affordable health care for their children. Dehumanizing poverty is borne by Filipino women, who labor in and outside the home.

As we enter the national midterm election period, we support the “women’s vote” that will foster solidarity with all the victims of human rights abuse and state neglect. We support party lists and candidates that advocate pro-women policies that Filipino mothers and women badly need. We support partylists that genuinely represent women’s interests and who advocate better health services, creation of gender-friendly environments and working places, and the protection of reproductive health rights.

As educators, who foster egalitarianism in our classrooms, and who oppose misogyny and discrimination, we join women in resisting the continuing assault against them in our social institutions and cultural practices. We will continue to fight against misogynistic practices and sexist beliefs in our campuses and outside our schools.

We strongly condemn a President who blatantly and unremorsefully attacks women, especially those who strongly and publicly oppose his policies. We express our solidarity with militant missionary Sister Patricia Fox, who was deported upon the instigation of Malacañang, for criticizing the US-Duterte regime. We express our strong condemnation of Duterte’s verbal/political harassment of women “red fighters,” as well as harassment of outspoken women such as former Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, COA women auditors, Senator Leila De Lima, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and UN Special Rapporteur on internally displaced persons Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, and journalists such as Maria Ressa.

As educators, we stand today with heroic and courageous women as they fight to end all social and economic oppression. We salute the militant women’s movement that relentlessly advances women’s welfare, as exemplified in the successful signing of the Expanded Maternity Leave law. As educators, we will continue to enlighten the minds of our students and our people against the sinister power of the patriarchy-feudalism complex. As educators, we strongly believe that we can not completely emancipate our people from their current economic and social miseries if we do not address issues integral to women. But we also believe that the woman question cannot be isolated from the issues of foreign domination of our economy and the imperialist plunder of our resources. The emancipation of our working class people and the liberation of our landless farmers from the shackles of feudalism will be victories for all women.

Long live all working women!

Advance the struggle to emancipate women!

Fight for better working conditions for working women!

End contractualization!

Fight alongside women against misogynist-patriarchal violence!

End political harassment of women union leaders and organizers!

Stop the abuse and killings of peasant and indigenous women!

Down with imperialism!

Down with feudalism!

Down with state fascism!


LEARN AND REMEMBER THE LESSONS AND LIMITATIONS OF THE EDSA UPRISING IN ORDER TO ADVANCE THE PEOPLE’S NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION AGAINST US-DUTERTE TYRANY Statement of the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy on the 32nd Anniversary of Edsa Uprising 25 February 2019



The members of CONTEND UP Diliman join our patriotic people today in celebrating the 32nd anniversary of the Edsa Uprising that toppled the US-backed dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, his family and cronies. As we celebrate today the victory of our people against the untold sufferings brought about by the worst regime in our nation’s history, we honor our people’s martyrs , especially our valiant activists of the University, who courageously fought and sacrificed their lives so that democratic institutions that support  bourgeois rights were restored to our plundered nation.

After 32 years of toppling Marcos dictatorship, our people today face another brutal regime that seemingly employs the same fascist and barbaric methods used by the US-Marcos rule to suppress the mounting people’s resistance and opposition. The US-Duterte regime has triumphantly extended martial in Mindanao for three consecutive times. And we face a looming extension of martial law to the whole Philippine archipelago, if not through martial law, then, by means of extending the repressive net of the Human Security Act of 2007.

Like the US-Marcos dictatorship, the US-Duterte regime has intensified its attacks against all oppositions by ruthlessly cracking down against progressive people’s organizations in the pretext of anti-terrorism. It has placed strategically  former military men in key government agencies such as DSWD, Customs, DENR, DILG, TESDA, OPAPP in the bid to maximize government resources weaponize its agencies to isolate and maim progressive and legal leftist organizations. Schools have become the favorite targets of the armed agents of the state. More than red-tagging, the state has subjected public teachers to covert surveillance and threat courtesy of well-funded intelligence budget financed by tax payers’ money. And the same harassment has been used to intimidate journalists and media outfits who are vocal critics of the government,  human rights a advocates, church people, leaders of national minorities, and peace advocates.

Paralleling the US-Marcos fascist rule,  Duterte  has mobilized the entire population, rallying our people through vulgar speeches against  a common enemy that threatens our nation. In the name of national security, the government has waged a war that claimed thousands of lives from the urban poor communities. The armed agents of the state have been emboldened by Duterte to target the poor through curfews, massive raids, warrantless arrests, and senseless killings. And our President wants a more relentless war against drugs.

While the poor are policed through massive drug raids, the government has offered safe haven for its Chinese cronies by rewarding them with endless supply of cheap labor, land conversions for their businesses, and public infrastructures that are financed by people’s money.

The Marcos regime was a a grand plunder of our economy through massive financial borrowing from foreign banks and governments. When Marcos became president in 1965, the total debt was $600 million; by the time he was ousted in 1986, it had ballooned to $26 billion—a 4300-percent rise. Today, we are witnessing the same strategy that might even be more explosive than the debt peonage created by the Marcoses. Now, we are setting the clock for the debt bomb resulting from massive borrowing from China. Our outstanding debt is at 7.16 trillion pesos or 42.3 percent of our GDP.

Faced with the creeping return of the fascist terror under the Marcos rule, the ongoing revision of our history through Duterte-Marcos-Arroyo holy alliance,  threatened by the economic collapse from Chinese debts, and the continuing attempts to extend Duterte’s dictatorship through constitutional revision, we call on our fellow educators to courageously stand and chant what the activists were chanting on the streets during the anti-Marcos protests: WAG MATAKOT, MAKIBAKA!

As teachers, we must forge strong alliance with other progressive sectors of our society who are also demanding the end to impunity and plunder of our patrimony by imperialists and their comprador lackeys. We must teach our students the lessons of Edsa Uprising. We have to persuade our students and our people that Edsa Uprising did not happen overnight. Like the Arab Springs and other peaceful regime changes in the world, the Edsa Uprising was a result of painstaking and long mass organizing fraught with violence and heroic sacrifices of our people. It was the revolutionary mass movement that had consistently and vigorously isolated and weakened the Marcos dictatorship over a long period of time. Thus we have to dispel the public vilification of rallies and demonstrations participated by teachers and students. We have to show our students that consciousness-raising, organizing, and mobilizing are indispensable tools and weapons of the weak against a regime that has monopolized the use of violence to plunder our national coffers and silence dissent.

Edsa Uprising is not just an historical event that happened in the past. It is our task as educators to remind our students that the undying spirit of Edsa can be summoned again when darkness once again threatens to cover our democratic horizons, and that we can direct its spirit towards the victory of the national democratic struggle.










NEVER FORGET MENDIOLA MASSACRE! DEFEND OUR FARMERS AND VIGOROUSLY STRUGGLE AGAINST THE US-DUETRTE REGIME’S ATTACK AGAINST LANDLESS FARMERS! Statement of the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy on the 32nd Anniversary of the Brutal Mendiola Massacre 22 January 2019

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The members of CONTEND-UP Diliman today join all progressive organizations and patriotic Filipino people, especially the landless farmers and farm workers, in remembering the 32nd year of the brutal massacre of farmers at Mendiola, Manila. As we remember and struggle for justice for the twelve killed at the gruesome massacre on January 22, 1987,  we also face today the continuing state terror that led to recent Sagay City Massacre killing nine Negrense farmers last October 20, 2018.

Our oppressed farmers had been enslaved to brutal feudal exploitation since the Spanish colonialism. For centuries, they had been subjected to dehumanizing slavery. Decades of attempts at land reform have apparently failed. According to IBON Foundations, land remains concentrated in the hands of a few. Official census could only claim at most 62% of farms under full ownership. The rest are under various forms of tenure, including tenancy at 15 percent. According to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), 93% of the remaining balance for land redistribution are private agricultural landholdings. There are more than 97,000 hectares of agricultural land converted to other uses while more than 120,000 hectares have been approved for conversion between 1998 until January 2016. The continuing struggle of farmers to assert their claim over the sprawling 6,453-hectare Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac attests to the failure of decades of pro-landlord land reform program under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and its extension, CARPER. The Aquino-Cojuangco clan continues to employ all means including harassment and intimidation to maintain control over the hacienda.

Shackled under this feudal bondage, our farmers, through cooperative land occupation or bungkalan in various provinces across the country, had begun asserting their right to make land productive. With bungkalan, peasant communities are able to directly address food insecurity and hunger. Among numerous land cultivation activities in the Negros island, there have been more than 200  bungkalans which began since 2009 spanning 3,000 hectares and benefiting 2,000 farm workers in Negros Occidental. Farm workers or dumaans here are known to receive only a meager Php170 in daily wages. Sakadas, or farm laborers not from the area, receive much lower wages  (Php110 for males and Php100 for females). The massacre of the nine Sagay farmers, who were victims of private armies of hacienderos (by the Revolutionary Proletarian Army (RPA), breakaway group from New People’s Army, under the Armed Forces of the Philippines), was made possible by the inability of the US-Duterte regime to dismantle big haciendas and implement genuine agrarian reform.   The NSFW said that since 2017, there have been 47 farmers and sugar workers killed in Negros due to land conflict.

The harassment of farmers is rooted in landlessness. According to government data, 1,727 medium and large landlords control 52 percent of the more than 222,600 hectares of sugar cane areas of Negros Island. The farmers are collectively putting up resistance against the continuing landlessness aggravated by financialization of agriculture. Around 1.2 million hectares of land are under various forms of contract growing schemes under agribusiness venture arrangements (AVAs) that are profit-oriented. Many of the largest haciendas remain intact because land reform programs and laws such as the Presidential Decree No. 27, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), National Tourism Act of 2009 and Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Act, have allowed landowners to skirt land distribution, expand their land ownership and even convert lands to non-agricultural use. Philippine oligarchs led by the country’s billionaires such as the late Henry Sy, the Zobel-Ayalas, the Roxases, the Lopezes, the Yulos, Cojuangco of Negros Islands, the Cojuangco-Aquinos of Central Luzon, the Floirendos, and the Consunjis, among others, have taken advantage of various land laws to gain or regain control over vast tracts of land.

Our country remains agricultural saddled by semifuedal social relations. The current crisis in our rice reflects the underdevelopment of our agriculture and the suffering of our farmers. Recently President Duterte issued Administrative Order (AO) No. 13 to remove non-tariff barriers on agricultural products that would further impoverish our farmers. When our farmers organize to collectively asset their right to land, they are either killed or met with brutal state violence like the Kidapawan tragedy in 2016.

As educators and educational workers, we have to stand with our farmers. We cannot remain serenely imprisoned to our classrooms while our food security is undermined. Our teachers are also suffering from low salary and high inflation rate. The crisis in agriculture aggravates their economic spending and undercut their food security compounded by run-away inflation rate. Like our fellow Filipino farmers, teachers, too, are victims of state repression, surveillance and military profiling.

We therefore call on our fellow teachers to support the struggle of our landless farmers for genuine land reform. We urge them to go to the rural areas and learn from the lives and struggles of the farmers. Let us bring our students and encourage them to write their research and papers to expose the intensifying assault of the foreign agribusiness against our farmers, the land grabbing practices of our local big comprador bourgeoisie, and the fascist attacks of the US-Duterte regime against bungkalan and farmers’ organizations.












EXPOSE AND DENOUNCE THE RED-TAGGING OF STATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AS PRETEXT OF THE PNP/AFP TO TERRORIZE AND CLAMPDOWN ON STUDENTS, EDUCATIONAL WORKERS, AND PROGRESSIVE STUDENTS’ ORGANIZATIONS Statement of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy Denouncing the Order of Philippine National Police to Monitor University of the Philippines and Polytechnic University of the Philippines for Recruitment of Students to New People’s Army 16 January 2019


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The members of CONTEND UP DILIMAN express our strongest condemnation of the recent propagandistic allegations of the Philippine National Police that some state colleges and universities, notably the University of the Philippines and Polytechnic University of the Philippines, are hubs for recruitment of students to the New People’s Army (NPA). Such unsubstantiated claim, supposed to come from former rebels, put in peril students and their teachers, and progressive students’ organizations in these campuses. Because of this pronouncement of the Philippine National Police (PNP), their covert and overt agents and assets are now mobilized to monitor, surveille, and observe the movements and whereabouts of these suspected students, teachers and their  respective organizations beyond the gates of schools.

This policing of state colleges and universities will surely fail as the PNP failed to confirm the earlier allegation of “red October plot” to oust President Duterte (uncovered September 2018). Undeterred by this fiasco, linking several schools to the plot, the PNP has concocted another hoax to justify its clampdown on the growing number of discounted students, educational workers and teachers against the US-Duterte administration.

We are also disgusted by the recent foiled attempt of the PNP to profile and monitor members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers Partylist. These failed attempts of the PNP to harass, contain, and terrorize educational workers and their organizations are part of the bigger counter-insurgency plan embodied in Executive Order No. 70, using the “whole-of-nation” approach,  to weaponize all state resources, agencies, and bureaucracies to combat and wipe out all progressive critics of the government, not sparing the legal and legitimate people’s organizations.

As educators we express our shock against the claim that state colleges and universities are hubs for recruiting students to join the NPAs. Such outrageous allegation of the PNP simply provides the state armed agents the pretext to terrorize and harass our teachers and students and their organizations. This pronouncement of the PNP threatens to put legitimate field works, out-of-school research, basic mass integration, even outreach/relief programs under the snooping eyes of state armed agents for intelligence gathering.

We therefore exhort our fellow teachers to continue bringing our students to rural communities to live with our landless farmers and fisherfolks, to volunteer as teachers in Lumad schools, to help organize our workers and striking contractual workers, to become volunteers for human rights organization,  and join our women in their fight to end misogyny. Let us defy the threats of state armed agents. These activities are integral part of our pedagogical duty to make our teachings have impact on the lives of our marginalized fellow citizens. Let us not allow ourselves to be immobilized by fear resulting from these threats. Let us defend our academic freedom against fascist intrusion.

Let us encourage our students to do their research and theses based on the struggles of the marginalized sectors of our society. Let us not be frightened and dissuaded from doing our solemn duty to use our classes to better and improve the lives of our people. We should not be deterred from carrying out our teaching duties to raise the consciousness of our students to question all institutions and beliefs that reinforce the “culture of silence”. Education is not simple transmission of dead and unusable knowledge to the young generation. Education is a weapon to bring down institutions that perpetuate fascism, tyranny, and to debunk myths that justify exploitation, discrimination, reduce education to producing “happy robots”.








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!

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