Funds for Education, No to Militarization!

10 09 2007

The Student Council Alliance of the Philippines fervently condemns the decision of the Arroyo administration for an all-out war against the rebels in Mindanao not because we do not seek to put an end to cyclical terrorism but rather we want to get rid of terrorism at its core.                

 After the beheading of ten marine soldiers in Mindanao by still unknown armed men, Malacañang was triggered to fiercely crush all the allegedly involved groups thus enlivening the battle arena in that area.       

Historically, an all out offensive against outlaws is confirmed ineffective, because the NPA’s, decades after, are still here, and separatist groups like MILF and MNLF remains to be in existence. The reactionary response of the state towards the legitimate problems of Mindanao has been proven futile. By this, we do not wish to protect the bandits. We too denounce the evident barbaric act of beheading human beings. Nonetheless, SCAP with other youth and civil society organizations firmly stand that a war against anybody, and any Filipino at that, is definitely an assault to thousands of innocent lives.           

It has to be noted that those soldiers who are combating with the rebels are but fresh graduates from the military. The more disheartening truth goes with the soldiers of the terrorist group, Abu Sayyaf, whose ages range from 14 to 16 years old.          

“These are young people dying. These are people who hold guns at a very early age. And we literally legitimized this to happen,” says Mark Roy Boado, SCAP National Chairperson. “War is not the solution against terrorism. It is high time that we look into the root causes of terrorism like poverty and social equality. Unless we seriously look into these social ills, more and more of our young people will join the guerilla armed forces,” he added. 

“Not only that, PGMA, in her speech last August 26, to commemorate the National Hero’s Day, further assailed the youth as she suggested to restore the Reserved Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) as a mandatory subject for all college students, to prepare them early on for military combat, an insult to the memory the UST student who died in revealing the corruptions made by ROTC officers,” Tina Langit, SCAP NCR Chairperson mentioned.

 “It is so ironic how PGMA can increase the military fund, suggest the institutionalization of ROTC and insinuate that the out of school youth should just be sent out to sweep the streets instead of sending them inside our schools or spending on ‘expensive distant learning programs for them’ all at the same problematic context,” Bianca Lapuz, SCAP National Secretary-General, said in a statement. 

“If we don’t put our children to school, and if quality education shall continue to decline, we shall expect more of our youth in the frontline of terrorist war, whether in the military or in the insurgent’s side,” Lapuz further declared.

 SCAP vehemently discourages any form of violence that would defeat a person’s fundamental right to life. We extend our sincerest sympathies to the people of Mindanao. The culture of fear has once again dominated the region, and it has to stop.  

“It could be a lot better if the case be resolved through thorough investigations and viable solutions,” Langit asserted. We therefore call for an anti-war campaign. We believe that we can never attain peace with guns. Let the people of Mindanao thrive in peace and prosperity. We need to reach out with a  NO TO ALL-OUT WAR IN MINDANAO!




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