Kabataan Partylist expresses its utmost gratitude for the immediate dismissal of Kabataan 8’s criminal charges. The said group of youth pleaded guilty in the court during their arraignment held last Monday, October 2, 2017 at Metropolitan Trial Court branch 43, in Quezon City Hall of Justice.
The Kabatan 8 are youth leaders who were arrested after chanting “never again to martial law” and “martial law sa Mindanao ibasura” and unfurling anti-martial law banners during the Congress special joint session tackling the extension of martial law.
The arrested youth leaders include Vinzhill Simon; youth activists Renz Pasigpasigan, Michael Joselo Villanueva, JP Rosos, and Almira Abril; and Mindanao-based Lumad community school ALCADEV teachers Chad Booc, Yasser Guitierrez, and Kenneth Cadiang.
The youth party lauds the Kabataan 8’s courage, dedication, and exhibiting uncompromised principles in the face of adversity. If it is a crime to call an end to state fascism, to call to stop the killings and to express dissent against the ongoing martial law in Mindanao, then the Kabataan 8 must and should indeed be proudly guilty of such.
“We are fully aware of the legal consequences of our action last July 22, 2017 at the House of Representatives. We have nothing to be afraid of and we regret nothing. In fact, we even enjoin each and every youth to fight fascism to the end. We would like to thank everyone concerned and everyone who took part in helping us from all throughout the duration of our incarceration and outright dismissal of the case.
“We note, however, that nothing has changed in the grim situation of our nation even after the dismissal of our case – the state and its machineries are still normalizing killings and intensifying fascism. Mindanao is still under martial law, with the entire Philippines even inching nearer to the brink of Martial Law. The few days we experienced in jail served only as a preview of what lies ahead if we stop fighting state fascism. This incident has just fanned the flame of resistance for the youth to fight tyranny and hold the US-Duterte regime for the killings and continuous violence across the country with greater fervor.”
-Michael Joselo Villanueva
Kabataan Partylist Acting National Secretary General and one of Kabataan 8
The fight of the youth against Martial Law and state fascism is far from over. Innocent people continue dying and the state continues to harass and purge the people who want genuine social change. The good fight fought by the Kabataan 8 inside Congress and inside jail must not only be continued but intensified. Bigger challenges await, and we should not stop until the killings, state fascism and the military rule in the country finally comes to an end.###