Duterte says mere dissent sans overt acts won't remove students as gov't scholars
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday that mere expression of disagreement to his administration and calling for his ouster without overt acts are not grounds to remove student activists under the government's scholarship program.
Duterte made the statement after National Youth Commission chair Ronald Cardema urged him to issue an executive order removing the scholarships of all anti-government scholars.
Cardema specifically cited the students who are allied with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front.
"If it's just a mere dissent, that's nothing. If you disagree with my move, you disagree or you are not in --- you do not find consonance in our decision...Well, those are just expression. I need more overt acts," Duterte said when asked if mere dissent of calling to overthrow the Duterte regime could be considered rebellion and warrants the stripping of government's support to a student scholar.
But Duterte said, "If you espouse, I said, support the NPAs, espouse the destruction of government, I will consider you an enemy."
He said it would be considered rebellion, which could lead to the arrest of individuals involved.
"And when the time comes, I will arrest all of them and they will lose everything that government has offered them," he said.
"If they espouse --- the very government feeding food on their mouth, they will lose that (scholarship)," he added.
Students in state universities and colleges and some selected local universities and colleges are not paying anything under the free tuition law passed under the Duterte administration. Celerina Monte/DMS