POSTSCRIPT / February 21, 2019 / Thursday


Opinion Columnist

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Deny activist studes state scholarships?

THE SUPREMO of the National Youth Commission, which banners itself as the “Voice and Advocate of the Youth,” seems to be taking his pro-Duterte administration views a bit too far.

Ronald Cardema, NYC chair, has been quoted in media saying: “Nananawagan po ako kay (I’m calling on) Pangulong Duterte bilang (as) head of our government to remove the government scholarships of all rebellious, anti-government scholars.

Nilalabanan niyo ang ating mga pulis, ang ating mga sundalo and nilalabanan niyo at gusto niyong ipabagsak ang ating gobyerno at kayo ay government scholars.” (You government scholars are fighting the police, our soldiers… you want to overthrow the government.)

Before he replaced singer-actress Aiza Seguerra as NYC chair last August, Cardema had led the so-called Duterte Youth.

The political troupe of Cardema reminds us of Hitler Youth, the organization of the Nazi Party in Germany during the time of Der Führer – except that while members of Hitler Youth were aged 10 to 18 years, Cardema is reported by his executive assistant to be 33 years old already.

Cardema seems to see red in most student protests. He has urged Sangguniang Kabataan leaders to fight their counterparts in the communist movement, asking them to report to NYC anti-government and leftist propaganda in their areas.

His latest statements against student activists enjoying state scholarship have been met with objections and criticism.

Raoul Manuel, secretary general of the National Union of Students of the Philippines, pointed out that students who join rallies are just voicing their sentiments in the exercise of their constitutional right:

Hindi tama na sila ay tanggalan ng scholarships dahil pinaglalaban lamang nila ‘yung kanilang mga karapatan.” (Stripping them of their scholarship is not right as they are just exercising their rights.)

The League of Filipino Students said: “Isa po ‘yang kamalian at kabastusan sa napakaraming mga kabataan na gusto at nangangarap na magkaroon ng karapatan na makapagaral.” (… many youths yearn for the right to get an education.)

Sen. Chiz Escudero said: “The sycophantic and obsequious suggestion of the NYC head shows his ignorance of the Constitution and, far from helping, is surely doing a disservice to PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) and the government.

Kung may sisipain dapat siya at di ang mga estudyante. (If there’s anybody who should be kicked out, it is Cardema.)

“The government is the government of those who agree with it and disagree with it… and the President is the President of those who voted for him and did not vote for him… The President and the government should serve every Filipino without distinction and regardless of political beliefs.”

On calls to revoke scholarship of “rebellious, anti-government scholars,” Chair Prospero de Vera of the Commission on Higher Education said:

Seryosong problemang kailangang tingnan. Pero kung nag-aaral kahit nagra-rally, expression of freedom of speech yan… Kung puro rally at napapabayaan ang pag-aaral, baka hindi na siya in good standing at baka matanggal siya sa listahan.”

De Vera advised students who join rallies to observe balance: “Tingnan lahat ng anggulo sa isyu. Dapat balanse. Exercise critical thinking. Kung isang side lang tinitingnan, hindi ka tunay na iskolar ng bayan.”

 Comelec must act on poll ad violators

IT TURNED out that there are already rules and guidelines for the display of election campaign billboards, tarpaulins, posters and such outdoor advertising. What is needed is no-nonsense enforcement.

Noting the proliferation of political advertising, especially by moneyed candidates, we said here last Sunday that such materials should carry the candidate’s approval and that concerned citizens should be empowered to take down materials not bearing the his/her consent or approval.

We also proposed that radio-TV-print media should broadcast or publish campaign advertisements only if the ad format includes a statement of the candidate that he/she approves of the ad and consents to its publication.

Consulting election lawyer Romy Macalintal, we learned that the problem is already covered by RA 9006 and the implementing rules of the Commission on Elections under its Resolution No. 10488 dated Jan. 30, 2019.

(By the way, Macalintal is an independent candidate for senator in the May 13 elections. He is on the “Otso Diretso sa Senado” ticket.)

He  said: “Section 7(a) and (b) of said resolution strictly require that printed materials and radio and TV ads “shall bear and be identified by the reasonably legible, or audible words ‘political advertisement pad for’ followed by the true and correct name and address of the candidate or party for whose benefit the election propaganda was printed or aired and the correct name and address of the payor.”

Macalintal added: “If the said propaganda are printed or aired ‘free of charge’ or ‘donated,’ to any candidate or party, the same cannot be published or aired without the written acceptance of the said candidate or party; and they shall bear and be identified by the words ‘printed free of charge’ or ‘airtime for this broadcast was provided free of charge by’ followed by the true and correct name and address of the said publishing firm or broadcast entity.” (Sec. 7(c), Comelec Res. 10488).”

Who is enforcing the rules then, and going after the violators? At what threshold will an offending candidate be penalized, even to the extent of being disqualified? Paging the Comelec!

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FAMILY AD: Calling members of the Dizon Clan based in Mabalacat City. We’ll have a reunion – the first that I can remember – on March 3, a Sunday, starting at 10 a.m., at Heaven’s Favor Function Hall, Green Meadows Subd., Barangay Mabiga. Being called are all descendants of Fulgencio David Dizon and Maria Dizon, and their children Vicenta, Monico, Estanislao, Gregoria, Restituto, Valentin and Florencio. (I belong to the Estanislao branch of the DIzon tree.) More details from Ian Mejia, grandson of Pablo Dizon Ong of Mabalacat:

(First published in the Philippine STAR of February 21, 2019)

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