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Anakpawis compares UP activists to ka-DDS

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Anakpawis partylist Rep. Ariel Casilao denounced the threat of the Duterte government to expel activist students of the University of the Philippines who recently participated in a campus walkout protest against the administration.

“They are just expressing their rights to expression, nothing wrong on protesting government shortcomings,” the Makabayan congressman said in a statement.

“These means they are critical on political engagement and that is good indication that they are active on social issues rather than mesmerized on fake news peddled by the government to convince youth students not to be critical as to what is happening in our society. They should do that more often,” Casilao said.

He compared the UP activists’ actions to the so-called DDS, which either refers to the Davao Death Squad vigilantes operating in Duterte’s hometown or the Duterte administration’s online army of trolls, who have taken to calling each other “ka-DDS.”

“Unlike the DDS, these students are maximizing their constitutionally guaranteed right as they used it to promote social justice by supporting the demand for genuine land reform, workers’ rights, against militarization of peasant, IP communities and among others,” Casilao said.

“They should be also lauded for exposing highly contentious gov’t actions like the enactment of Train Law, repressing the media, pushing charter change through various forms,” he added.

“Youth and students should further step up protest to expose the Duterte government’s peddling of fake news that it is following the rule of law in terms of human rights, people’s right to expression and its suppose pro-people economic policies. They should not be cowed of such threat, they do not answer to Duterte but to the oppressed Filipino people,” he said.