“An irony of ironies: schools are now allowed to ‘impose’ Tokhang in the spirit of ‘academic freedom.’”
This is how Kabataan Partylist described the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) recent memorandum allowing mandatory drug testing as a requirement for admission and retention in higher education institutions (HEIs), in support of the US-Duterte regime’s “war on drugs.”
“CHED must have heavily distorted ‘academic freedom’ to mean freedom for state agents to impose fascism and intervene in schools, as well as freedom for schools to deny students’ right to education on the basis of drug test results,” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago added.
“This will further legitimate Tokhang-style executions and arrests in schools, especially among the youth. CHED’s support on the ‘war on drugs’ will give license to militarization and police invasion in schools.”
“Not so long ago, peasant leaders and civilians have been arrested and even killed under the ‘drugs’ bogey. Who is to say the same won’t happen to students, student leaders notwithstanding?,” Elago explained.
“This invasion of schools is also to add financial burdens to the students and their parents, as testing fees could possibly mean another round of other school fees,” Elago added.
The youth party calls on the Filipino students and youth to hold the US-Duterte regime accountable for its continued all-out offensives against the students.
“If the government is serious on eradicating the drug epidemic, it should stop its crazy rampage on drug users, focus on rehabilitation, and actually address the roots of poverty and crime.”
“Rather than denying students of the right to education based on drug use, presumed or otherwise, it should hold on its pledge to allow free education in SUCs and eventually in all schools, and do away with neoliberal policies that keep social services inaccessible to the majority of the poor,” Elago said.
“Otherwise, the students are ready to fight and condemn the creeping fascism in schools. The youth are more than ever willing to fight the fascist state and promote a nationalist, scientific and mass-oriented education to address the drug onslaught,” Elago concluded. ###