Breeding Ground For Terrorists?

This was written after having just graduated from college four months earlier. The second leg has attracted a unified anti-American opposition the then Secretary of National Defense Angelo Reyes issued a statement that a number of State Colleges/Universites nameley UP & PUP are high-risk schools which means that they are harbouring potential terrorists since they encourage the pressence of progressive blocks in their campuses. Having graduated from a state university I myself was enraged by the said statement which lead me into writing this personal rebuttal which I originally wrote in a piece of yellow paper that I later on typed in my old office.

August 2002

There is nothing new about the issue of campuses as the nesting ground for future terrorists.

Awareness, absolution of thought and the inalienable desire for national liberation, democracy and equality, has always been a cause of alarm within the ranks of the reactionaries especially those in the armed forces. Their misguided sense of preserving peace and order has been one of the many reasons why the campuses of certain state colleges and universities (SCUs) as well as certain private schools that encourage freedom of thought and expression within its college grounds are branded as high risk colleges that harbor future terrorists.

Their sense of order that is founded on the principle of blind obedience and enforced order has always made them think that they are morally upright because of their snappy disposition, glowing aesthetics, and manly built-up. As opposed to those campus radicals who wear secondhand patchy clothes, rubber sandals, worn-out sneakers, red shirts with printed insignias of Che Guevara, a hammer and sickle, a red star, the phrase serve the people or even the "A" logo that stands for anarchy, that seemed to fit well with their thin built-up and that bad haircuts that they sport.

Those people in the military have always been made to believe that order can only be maintained by means of force in the sense that violence catered as punishment is the only good reinforcement for imposing self-discipline. They have always believed that only the leaders have the right to think.

They are afraid of such campuses because it encourages its students to think, not in the academic sense but in the sense that the young has a social responsibility to aspire for excellence and for the upliftment of the exploited segments of society and the need for sustainable development in an environmental context.

For whose right do these so-called 'student terrorists' fight for anyway?

Is it not for their right for quality education?

It is a sad fact that the government allocates funds that are supposed to be given to education to the military. Preserving peace and order is a good cause, but not if its pretext is for making our country friendly for multinational and transnational corporations to plunder (MNCs & TNCs) our natural resources.

Besides what of those hundreds of thousands if Filipino out-of-school youth that are deprived of state-subsidized education, because of the higher-quota in the sense that the cut-off for entrance examination of SCUs are very much higher that only a very small portion of high-school graduates from underprivileged families are able to enter college. And the very reason for this is the implementation of budgetary constraints, for the reason that a huge sum of the budget that is supposed to be given to the SCUs are instead given to the armed forces so that they can implement their long-running modernization program.

Does this mean that our government is not interested in investing for our country's future?

We sure hope not.

It is also a sad fact that a majority of SCUs and other colleges and universities are aligning their curriculum to the standards of the so-called globalization. It saddens me that so many subjects in college nowadays are shelved to make way for more studying of the English language, more mathematics and more skills development subjects. It is indeed a cause of despair for a majority of educators within the academe who teaches such subjects as Filipino, Semantics, Humanities, Philosophy, Sociology and other subjects that delve with seemingly metaphysical areas of study.

At present our government and its branches of service within science and technology are encouraging most of our young ones to patronize courses in engineering, accountancy, nursing and other skill based education programs. In fact it persuades the youth to enroll in computer schools, vocational learning centers and business schools rather than to enroll in traditional colleges.

The idea behind it is the whole globalization concept where it is centered in free enterprise and liberal trade. But the bottom-line is that our government would rather have our college graduates to work as computer programmers, engineers, nurses in other countries rather than here. They are more interested in the foreign currency that they'll bring rather than improving our domestic economy.

Another thing that our government feels threatened by student activists is because of the fact that they fight for such low segments in the societal strata such as the workers, farmers, women, drivers, fisher folk, ethnic minorities, indigenous people and the urban poor.

And again we say why not?

Majority of the students studying in the SCUs and other schools listed as high-risk are children of blue-collar workingmen, who try to get by with minimum wage. Now tell us if it is wrong if we aspire for them to have higher wage, so that they can pay the bills buy food, and provide us money for our tuition fee money at the same time?

Would the government still brand us as terrorists if we understood the true plight of our farmers and fisher folk who are constantly exploited by landlords and who are always subjected military speculation that they are communist insurgents? Is it wrong if we join our hands in solidarity with them when they resist forced dispersal because their farms are sold or leased by their landlords to be converted as factories of MNCs and TNCs; or to develop into subdivisions for the financially gifted who are tired of urban living?

Is it a crime if we know that the rice that our farmer's plant and the fish that our fishermen catch are sold to other countries, and that our country imports the very rice that we eat are bought from other countries? Then the government should might as well consider us as criminals for understanding that genuine food security is rested on the belief that the food we eat is produced and distributed by our own country.

Now don't get us wrong if those high ranking military officials really do care about women, then they should stop making sexist remarks about them during ROTC, perhaps its customary for such people to make grin jokes about women. More than enough of this has been exhibited in the ROTC. Second is that is it a sin if women aspire for equal rights with men, or if they seek justice from chauvinism, beating or seek defense from petty sexual bigotries that are prevalent in our country.

We consider it a sham to dismiss the legitimacy of transport groups' call for a rollback in the price of oil and gasoline, especially in the context that the cartel of petroleum companies that always conspire to hike up the price of their products to meet the so-called demands of the international market.

How indigenous and ecologically harmonious people and cultures are dispersed from their ancestral lands and from the face of this planet because of forced migration or assimilation into the market economy? Is it wrong if we have a vision of paradise that is not based if concrete roads, factories, shopping malls, high-technology and urban sprawl; if we want to breathe air free of carbon monoxide or drink water without any lead content or water that won't cause amoebiasis, or eat food that is not made of genetically modified organisms?

Tell us if we would be counted as anti-socials if we would side with the urban poor at times of demolitions?

How long has it been since the government embodied the highest aspirations of its populace? Has it lost its touch of reality concerning the understanding of the basic pre-requisites to the building of a just and strong nation?

Now tell us if our cries of action, reform and revolution are not justified by our cause. Would you rather patronize the fascist mechanisms of the state that harm its people whom they have sworn to protect?

Their continuous existence under the pretext of preserving national sovereignty is a sham because of the continuous intervention of the United States and other 1st World countries in our domestic politics.

So for these above mentioned reasons we ask this administration not to make a mockery of itself, by considering the youth of those specific SCUs and other colleges as up and coming terrorists.

If indeed our government is a government that is by the people and for the people why doesn't it act like one?

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