September 19, 2012
Campus press on strike against militarization
ANGELO KARL DOCEO
National Vice President for Visayas
College Editors Guild of the Philippines
Even our campuses have never been safe for campus journalists. With the government’s disrespect to civil liberties, the campus press always falls prey to the state’s fangs of fascism.
“Recent accounts on harassment of campus journalists and youth leaders are clear testaments that the administration of Benigno Aquino III is not different from that of Gloria Arroyo’s which left a bloodstained legacy to the people. Since Aquino assumed presidency, records of human rights violations have not been abated,” said Angelo Karl Doceo, national vice president for Visayas of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines.
Doceo pointed out that while campus journalists scuffle internal assaults such as administrative intervention, funds meddling and censorship, they also face constant threats from state forces.
Last February, CEGP officers and members of The Pillar, official student publication of the University of Eastern Philippines, were harassed by suspected military elements in Samar. At present, members of student publication The Pillar continue to experience surveillance from suspected military agents. According to them, intelligence agents have been visiting their publication office, asking copies of their releases, list of the editorial board and staff, and asking the whereabouts of the publication members.
“These incidents can be reduced to Aquino’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan which does not distinguish a progressive individual from an armed rebel. With this kind of thinking, the government opens fire against anyone who speaks against its anti-people policies and its own incompetency,” Doceo said.
For instance, some of the members of The Pillar were told to be included in the military’s Order of Battle, a document which contains a list of individuals who are target for ‘neutralization.’ This clearly underscores that a campus journalist can be a target of the government’s moves against the alternative media and progressive organizations who speak for people’s issues, Doceo added.
Today marks the National Day of Action of campus journalists bringing forward issues of education’s commercialized, colonial and fascist characters. This is part of the week-long youth strike across the country.
“Indeed, state fascism continues under the Aquino government – the same government who promised to solve cases of human rights violations and bring justice to the victims’ mourning families. Aquino’s insincerity in fulfilling his promises has been consistent in his almost three years in office, such as how he disregards the people’s right to education, health and other basic social services,” said Doceo.
“What Aquino does not realize is that as long as social dilemmas remain to rack the country, there will always be campus journalists who will wield their pens against a government who does not listen to the pleas of its people,” Doceo added. ####