Guevarra rejects pitch to revoke scholarships of 'rebellious' students
MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra struck down the proposal of National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairman Ronald Cardema to revoke government scholarships given to students with supposed links to leftist groups.
"With all due respect, such a proposal, if adopted, would effectively restrain the youth's constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression," said Guevarra in a statement on Wednesday, February 20.
Cardema on Tuesday, February 19, asked President Rodrigo Duterte to issue an executive order to take away the subsidy of "all rebellious anti-government scholars."
Cardema said the proposal covers students allied with the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People's Army, and National Democratic Front. (READ: The generals' coup in 2018: Duterte breaks up with Reds)
But Guevarra said, "Our state universities and colleges, instead of taking it against militant students by dropping them from the roll, should be proud that they are producing young people who are socially aware and concerned not only by themselves but also about the nation."
The proposal to target "anti-government" students comes less than a month after the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) filed complaints against the police for profiling its members. Police had cited reports of ACT's alleged communist links. – Rappler.com