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A top official of the National Security Council (NSC) on Wednesday, November 3, asked students of state universities and colleges to use “discernment” when coming across materials in libraries and information networks which are deemed “subversive.”
In a virtual press briefing hosted by the Philippine Information Agency, NSC Undersecretary Vicente Agdamag emphasized the government does not support any materials which promote ideologies on “changing the form of the government through the armed struggle of the [CPP-NPA-NDF],” referring to the Communist Party of the Philippines and its New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front, the umbrella alliance of leftist underground groups.
“Hindi namin pinagbabawal na makinig sa ideology ng komunismo. Ang ayaw [ng gobyerno] ay ang armed struggle. It’s a matter of discernment,” Agdamag said, as he urged students “to weigh in and try to balance” the advocacies and ideologies espoused by these groups.
He reminded youth that “the CPP-NPA-NDF wants to overthrow and change the government through armed struggle,” adding that is a “violation of the Philippine constitution.”
Armed rebellion or taking up arms to overthrow the government, is a crime. (RA 6968)
At least three schools have already pulled out supposedly subversive materials from their libraries, but Agdamag said this was still under the discretion of the academic institutions. The government, he said, upholds “freedom of expression and academic freedom.”
John Michael Mugas is a Luzon-based fellow and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.