Mas mainam pa na magrally kaysa magkalat ng Fake News - Kabataan Representative

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday threatened to remove students of the University of the Philippines (UP) who walked out and held a demonstration on the campus to protest some state policies and replace them students from the Lumad or cultural minorities from Mindanao.
“UP…they want to walk out. You do not go to school anymore. That’s the people’s money. I’d be happy to reconfigure the view there,” Duterte said in a speech in Davao City.

“Earlier today, they walked out. Go ahead. If you don’t want to go to school, get out of there because I will bring (indigenous) students who are bright and put them there,” the President said.

Duterte said he would give protesting UP students the “privilege” of not going to school for one year.

“So those who frequently demonstrate and walk out of their classrooms, I will give you the privilege of one year of not going to school,” Duterte said.

“I will let in those Filipino who were not able to get a chance to have an excellent education. It’s free there,” he said.

The UP students stand their ground and said that President Duterte can’t stop them, despite Duterte’s threat to disqualify those students who would participate in any rally from the free tuition program and will be transferred to the deserving Lumad instead.

Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago and Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao, clarified that what Duterte is doing, is an obvious way to taking away students’ freedom of speech. 

Elago and Casilao’s opinion was supported by some lawyers and clarified that participating to any rally against government's wrong deeds has never become wrong and would not make you criminal.

According to them, it’s much acceptable to join a protest, which only shows that the youths are aware of what is going on in their surroundings, than to spread fake news

The protesting students believe that the Liberal Party will always be their to support them against Duterte administration.
Meanwhile, Sens. Richard Gordon and Sherwin Gatchalian reminded protesting students that their primary responsibility as the nation's scholars was to study.

According to senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the primary responsibility of UP students was to finish their study and join the ranks of productive citizens.

“Voicing out opinions should be conducted responsibly and fairly,” he said.

“It should be conducted during off school hours so that others will not be disturbed or distracted,” Gatchalian added.

In a statement released, Sen. Richard Gordon reminded UP students to avoid leaving their classes to protest against the administration.

“The president is just advising them in a very stern way. They are our nation’s scholars. They get quality education for a little amount. Many would like to get into UP every year," Gordon said.

"The president is just disappointed at the fact that it’s difficult to get into UP yet the students are not attending their classes,” he said.

“There are many ways of expression through Facebook and other social media sites. There is no need to disrupt the operations of the school,” Gordon added.

Palace clarified on Saturday (February 3) that President  Duterte has no problem with students clamoring and protesting against the administration as long as they don’t walkout or cut their classes that can result to dismissal, specially students in universities like the University of the Philippines as stated in Article 346 of the Revised UP Code.

“Sa UP (University of the Philippines), mayroon po kaming maximum absence rule, kapag ikaw absent ng 20 percent (In UP, we have maximum absence rule, wherein once you are absent by 20%), you are automatically dropped from the rolls,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“Ang sinasabi lang ng Presidente, huwag naman natin sayangin iyong mga pera ng sambayanan na ginugol natin para sa free tuition ng lahat ng State Universities and Colleges (The President was only trying to point out to not waste the money of the filipinos that are being spent for the free tuition fee in all State Universities and Colleges),” Roque said.

“Ito kasi ang kauna-unahang taon na binabayaran natin ang tuition ng lahat ng States Universities at Colleges, hindi lang UP, (This is the first time that we are paying the tuition of all State Universities and Colleges, not only the UP)” Roque added.


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