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!