Davao youths, students protest terror law

Jul. 06, 2007

DAVAO CITYJunk the Human Security Act, this was the cry of the students and youth organizations in the National Day of Youth and Students Protest held today in front of the University of Mindanao Bolton Campus.

The voices of the youth and students are suppressed through the implementation of the Human Security Act (HSA) by the Arroyo government, Arvin Gutang, ANAKBAYAN Vice President for Mindanao said.

On February 8, 2007, the Senate passed on a final reading the Anti-Terrorism Act or the Human Security Act of 2007. The HSA is an act that aims to put an end to terrorism and all its forms.

This counter-terrorist law is only a faade of the government to suppress progressive youth and student groups who criticize the government. HSA is a perfect recipe for the existing anti-student policies and the possible declaration of Martial Law, Gutang said.

According to Karlos Manlupig, the Davao City Coordinator of the League of Filipino Students, student leaders condemn the HSA as it provides a venue for the Arroyo administration to persist on generating anti-student policies and militarization in campuses all over the country.

The continued militarization in campuses through the presence of armed military inside campuses and the re-instituted ROTC act would help the plan of the Arroyo regime to use the HSA as a way to legitimize repression among the Filipino youth and students. Minute manifestations of such repression are the anti-youth policies of the Arroyo administration. These anti-youth policies such as the Tuition and Other Fees Increase (TOFI), campus repression, and high illiteracy rate are hindrances to the education of the youth that should be provided by the government, Karla Hyasmind Apat, College Editors Guild of the Philippines and KABATAAN Party Vice President for Mindanao said.

This protest not only junks the HSA but all forms of repression among the youth and students. The administration should think of educating the Filipino youth first before allocating the budget to militarization, Apat added.

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