(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte said that students given scholarships by the government will not lose this privilege even if they express dissent regarding government, including its policies and actions.
Wala naman kung dissent lang (If it’s only dissent, no). If you disagree with my move, you disagree, or you do not find consonance in our decision, fine,” the President said during an interview with reporters in Malacanang.
But Duterte said a line needs to be drawn. Students supporting and joining the New People’s Army, would lose their scholarships and other privileges that the government has offered them.
“If you go and say, ‘let us go out, join the NPAs, support the NPAs, give food to the NPAs, money to the NPAs,’ then you espouse the destruction of the duly constituted government,” the President said.
He said that students espousing the destruction or the overthrow of the “very government feeding food on their mouth” will lose this scholarship privilege, and are even committing rebellion.
“If you espouse to overthrow the government, then you are committing a crime of rebellion,” the President said.
“And when the time comes, I will arrest all of them and they will lose everything that government has offered them.”
-Nat’l Youth Commission’s statement-
Duterte’s pronouncement comes National Youth Commission chair Ronald Cardema issued a statement asking the President to issue an executive order which will remove the scholarship privilege of “all rebellious anti-government scholars” particularly those allied with the New People’s Army.
“As Chairman of the National Youth Commission, I am requesting our Head of Government, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, to issue an Executive Order removing the government scholarships of all anti-government scholars,” he
“Specifically those students who are allied with the leftist CPP-NPA-NDF, a terrorist group that is trying to overthrow the Philippine Government and killing our government troops,” Cardema stressed.
In 2017, President Duterte ordered the conditional implementation of the free tuition program in State Colleges and Universities “to give priority to financially disadvantaged but academically able students.”