Bayani Obrero | Spokesperson | NDF-Negros Island | National Democratic Front Of The Philippines
September 7, 2023
Sara Duterte’s reported visit to Bacolod City tomorrow, September 8, is unwelcome to the people of Negros Island. The declining Marcos-Duterte alliance has further deteriorated the economic situation of the masses of Negros Island, even the middle class, and wreaked state terrorism on Negros Island for over a year after its fraudulent rise to power.
Duterte, who is also education secretary, is coming to Negros Island for the celebration of National Teacher’s Month. This is adding insult to injury as the sorry conditions of a colonial, commercialized and repressive educational system remain unaddressed by the reactionary government.
So-called reforms championed by Duterte such as Mandatory ROTC program enable the culture of impunity and senseless violence while Department of Education (DepEd) Order No. 21 directing bare classrooms make schools more akin to a military facility than a place of learning. These militarize schools and indoctrinates students with a false brand of patriotism; immersing them into the same brutality that has claimed lives of dozens of innocent farmers, farm workers and defenseless individuals on the island.
Furthermore, the controversial Php125 million-peso confidential funds spent by Duterte, unscrutinized by her allies in Congress, speaks volumes of how she is utilizing her position to plunder taxpayer’s money for her own gains. And now, she is leeching more funds from the people’s coffers in the amount of Php2.385 billion and Php758.6 billion, under the Office of the Vice President and DepEd respectively.
While she and her cohorts defend their brazen unlawful spending, public schools direly lack classrooms and teachers are underpaid. State universities and colleges are suffering budget cuts, two among the top 30 are in Negros Occidental Province, namely West Visayas State University and Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology. All human rights programs of the reactionary government also have their budgets slashed.
This is a clear-cut manifestation of Duterte’s priorities which is over and above the legitimate problems of the country’s educational woes and human rights situation.
With Duterte basically molding the educational system into a military reserve, the masses of Negros Island are angered by the hypocrisy of her visit. And this follows the rice price cap screw-up of Marcos Jr that fuels the seething rage of the Filipino people through skyrocketing prices of basic necessities.
NDF-Negros calls on patriotic and progressive individuals and groups especially in the educational sector, to continue fighting for a nationalist, scientific, and mass-oriented education and culture as opposed to the fascist brand imposed by Duterte, Marcos, and their ilk. Make the Marcos-Duterte alliance feel the rumbling of the social volcano on the island.
Ultimately, only the people’s democratic revolution can bring forward a truly just and peaceful society, where education is for the benefit of the people, not for the selfish interests of the elite few.
Source : https://philippinerevolution.nu/statements/sara-dutertes-visit-unwelcome-to-the-people-of-negros-island/