WE condemn the government’s announcement to suspend classes Tuesday supposedly due to “imminent threats towards the safety of students of some groups” in light of a “transport strike.” This following the nationwide transport strike led by transport group Piston on Monday. No transport strike was scheduled yesterday.
President Duterte and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque just proves how deserving they are of the “Fake News Kings” tag. This government is spreading false information to direct people’s anger and fear towards groups with legitimate demands.
Duterte’s cowardice after the successful strike by the jeepney drivers with the support of the students on Monday strongly stinks through these maneuvers. He and his cohorts failed to quell the protests of the drivers that is why they try desperately to demonize Piston and the striking drivers.
We also question the government’s sincerity to put forward students’ safety. Roque, Duterte and Philippine National Police Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and all of their cohorts do not have the moral ascendancy to speak of students’ safety. If there is a threat to students’ safety, it is the Duterte government, for its Oplan Tokhang, Oplan Kapayapaan and crackdown targeted at the youth.
Furthermore, Duterte need not demonize the strike of the jeepney drivers in the eyes of the youth. The youth is aware that his jeepney phaseout scheme means corporatization and privatization of the public transport system. In fact, the students’ support for the strike strongly contributed to the success of the jeepney strike on Monday.--Mark Lim, spokesperson, National Union Of Students of the Philippines