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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau



14 August 2019 07:04:26 PM

Members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives on Wednesday agreed that young students should be encouraged to freely express their ideas and opinions, and develop critical thinking as part of their growth and development. Bayan Muna Party-list Reps. Ferdinand Gaite and Carlos Isagani Zarate said young students should be encouraged to freely express their deep thoughts, opinions on issues and not suppressed them. Both lawmakers cited the term McCarthyism or the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago said the youth should be given freedom to express their views and opinions. Elago cited the amendment to the Human Security Act, the martial law in Mindanao, the revival of the Anti-Subversion Law, the Red October plot, and police crackdown on student-activists which are but tools to further curtail freedom of expression. Lumad leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Culiamat pointed out the issues raised on Lumad schools. She and ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro stressed that parents should give cognizance and be proud of youth student activists for standing up for freedom and democracy. Zarate pointed out that parents should respect their children’s different positions or ideological beliefs. He cited as an example the Zumel brothers. Antonio Zumel is with the National Democratic Front while Gen.Jose Zumel is with the military. GABRIELA Party-list Rep.Arlene Brosas said the government should be concerned with the more important problems of society such as poverty, the Rice Tariffication Law, the 10 million people needing 4Ps, and the juvenile delinquents put in adult jail facilities, among others. During the press briefing, the lawmakers presented student activist Alicia Lucena who was allegedly abducted by the CPP-NPA per reports of the police and the military. Lucena said she joined the progressive activist group Anakbayan voluntarily and had gone ‘stow away’ from home because of familial issues. / Caption by Isagani Yambot, Jr./ Photo by Gilbert Engay/ News and Documentation Section-Press and Public Affairs Bureau/ House of Representatives of the Philippines