Colleges should be a marketplace of ideas not the exclusive domain of one ideology — DILG

August 22, 2019

By claiming that colleges and universities as off-limits to the police, militant student organizations are, in fact, curtailing the right of every student to hear both sides of the issue, according to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“The militant student organizations are, in fact, saying that only their ideology or point of view is welcome here and any attempt to weaken their hold on the discourse or introduce other points of view is “militarization,” said DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya.

The DILG spokesperson said that the alleged militarization and martial law in the UP system are figments of their imagination gone overdrive. “This is again classic Communist propaganda: using the ‘politics of fear’ to portray government as a repressive monster to earn political pogi points from students in order to ‘arouse, organize, and mobilize’ the youth sector,” he said.

“Campuses should be marketplaces of ideas where students should hear and examine diverse political ideologies and ideas so they can make informed decisions on issues affecting them,” he added.

He challenged militant student organizations in UP to adapt to the changing times and come up with new slogans for a change. “Gasgas na ang sigaw na Militarization and Martial Law sa UP. Bumenta na ang mga yan. Digital age na ngayon,” he said.

He said that they are perplexed why student militant organizations would claim “militarization” or “Martial Law” when there are no plans to transform schools into military camps or police camps even.

“The proposal of DILG Secretary Eduardo Año is very clear. It’s to send police officers to schools to do dialogues with school administrators and students, not bringing the power of arms but bringing the power of facts, argument and information,” he said.

“Why are they so afraid of contrarian points of view? Isn’t that what academic freedom is all about? This only proves that they do not really believe in academic freedom but are really concerned about controlling the discourse in schools so that they can continue active Communist recruitment,” he said.

He said that government cannot just turn a blind eye to the cries and anguish of parents who appeared before the Senate and sounded the alarm about what happened to their children.

“We have no choice but to act. That is our mandate and responsibility to the people. We all know that the youth are the primary source of NPA cadres. Joma Sison and all his top lieutenants were all recruited in colleges; hence it is a major source of cadres of the Communist movement,” he said.