Posts Tagged ‘KABATAAN Partylist’

CEGP Baguio-Benguet condemns Aquino COMELEC’s systematic attacks on Makabayan Bloc

Press Statement

April 14, 2013

CEGP Baguio-Benguet is enraged by the latest ploy by the Commission of Elections to disqualify the KABATAAN partylist, the lone representative of the youth in the Congress, and Piston partylist in the upcoming May 2013 Elections. With this move, the COMELEC only reinforces its being an Aquino COMELEC.

The Comelec charged both partylists who are members of the Makabayan bloc for allegedly violating COMELEC Resolution No. 9615 which concerns the posting of campaign materials on public areas. Earlier, KABATAAN Partylist already showed proofs of compliance to the rules which are accompanied by photo documentations and eyewitness accounts.

CEGP Baguio-Benguet sees this move by the clearly biased COMELEC as a motivated attack against members of the Makabayan Bloc who is known for advancing the genuine interests of the Filipino people. Along with the red-baiting of the Makabayan’s lone Senatorial candidate Teddy Casiño, the COMELEC, backed by and evidently protecting the Aquino administration, is resorting to a variety of evil tactics to hinder the members of the Makabayan bloc to push for its alternative politics.

The COMELEC overlooks the fact that the KABATAAN Partylist has long been working for the promotion of the interests of the youth not just in its stint in the Congress but also beyond the legislative arena. KABATAAN partylist has been on the forefront of the fight against the systematic neglect of the Aquino administration to the State Universities and Colleges which essentially deprive the Filipino people of its basic right to education. Since Aquino take his seat as President, KABATAAN partylist has been leading the massive protest actions against huge budget cuts in SUCs and tuition fee increases in private schools. KABATAAN Partylist was also the leading author of the Anti No-Permit, No Exam Policy which can be helpful to students who are prevented from taking their examinations because of unpaid fees. KABATAAN partylist was also one of the earliest to file a petition against the unconstitutional Cybercrime Law and mobilized its widest forces to contribute in the eventual issuance of temporary restraining order on the said law. Also, with the help of its national formations and chapters, KABATAAN partylist, through its Tulong Kabataan Program, was also able to respond most quickly and most widely to help our fellowmen in times of national disasters and calamities. These among the many other achievements and meaningful actions of KABATAAN partylist in protecting the rights of the Filipino people the COMELEC seems to consciously bypass and focus instead on a little issue which the partylist has not left unresolved and not rectified.

At this point, we urge every youth to be vigilant as the COMELEC makes its decision in this disqualification case. We have to bear in mind that without KABATAAN Partylist, without our sole representation in the Congress, we will lose a key ally in our struggle for our rights and the protection of our interests. The history and track record of KABATAAN partylist speaks for itself. However, these are not enough to thwart a bullish apparatus of the Aquino administration who works to persecute those who are at the side of the people. What is needed is mobilizing the largest act of condemnation from the youth in order to frustrate this harassment from the COMELEC.





Think Change 2013: The North Luzon Youth Summit: Youth agenda, network for right to education, employment and democratic rights formed

Press Release:

January 29, 2013


Last 2010, more than 100 youth from all over Northern Luzon gathered to build solidarity and synthesize the issues being confronted then by their sector as the national elections approach. The event, dubbed as Think Change, aimed to engage the youth in community-building and provide venues for their concretization of the clichéd “Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan” statement.

This year, various organizations led by the Cordillera Youth Center, Anakbayan Cordillera, College Editor’s Guild of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet, National Union of Students of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet and the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation Baguio City, Think Change 2013 was conducted at Teachers’ Camp on January 26 and 27, with nearly 200 delegates from the provinces of Pangasinan, Isabela, Cagayan Valley and the regions of Ilocos and Cordillera. In the two-day summit, the delegates listened to various discussions magnifying the issues they should confront as the emerging sector of the country, exchanged ideas on how to address these issues, paraded all the way from Teachers’ Camp down to Session Road and People’s Park, Malcolm Square where a Jam for Change was also held on the first night .

Participants of the Youth Summit during the Unity March

Participants of the Youth Summit during the Unity March



Delegates from Kalinga during the Unity Parade

Delegates from Kalinga during the Unity Parade


Cultural performers during the Jam for Change at Malcolm, Square

Cultural performers during the Jam for Change at Malcolm, Square


Keynote: the condition of the youth is a condition for dissent

Einstein Recedes of Kabataan Partylist National delivered the Keynote Address where he elaborated on the various issues of the youth from their schools, to their communities and the workplace. As the perennial problem faced by the youth, most of which are studying in schools, Recedes emphasized the tuition and miscellaneous fees increases, along with the redundant fees in his speech. The rate of unemployment and its aggravation by the lack of jobs created that is suitable to the needs of the country also got attention in the keynote speech. Also, the violation of the human rights of the youth, already touched on the violation of their right to education and employment, is only more brutalized by the vilification of progressive youth organizations that justly advances the interests of the sector in their different areas of life.

Recedes’ booming conclusion includes the exhortation that given these existing conditions that are meant to stifle the energies of the youth, the youth has no better option than to keep on acting together and continue expanding their ranks in order to register a louder voice of dissent. In this venture, the youth should bear in mind the tripartite modes of engagement that they should follow as a more effective way of confronting their issues: arousing, organizing and mobilizing. Invoking and at the same time recasting Rizal’s hackneyed proposition on the youth as the hope of the nation, Recedes ended his speech with a stirring recommendation: kabataan, ‘wag nang hintayin ang kinabukasan, maging pag-asa ng bayan, ngayon!


Different workshops and the building of the North Luzon Agenda

In the afternoon session of the summit’s first day, the participants were divided into three workshop groups according to three identified issues: education, human rights and environment. The workshop groups initiated a sharing of experiences among the delegates in order to specify the issues of the youth in specific communities and ultimately to map systematic steps that can be taken to respond to the issues raised.

As the three groups gathered back together, they crafted what will later be called as the North Luzon Youth Agenda which is comprised of the particular demands of the youth to the candidates for the mid-term elections. As a major bloc in the population of the society, the youth agenda is underlined by the framework that the issues of the youth, crafted by members of the sectors themselves, should be a priority among the candidates. The youth should make use of their comprising more than half of the registered voters in order to call attention to their demands. As these demands were articulated after the thorough discussions and sharing of actual experiences of the delegates in the Summit, there is nothing but the collective interest of the youth hankering for a better nation and a better future.

Highlighting the North Luzon Youth agenda is the assertion of the right to education which includes the scrapping of the 300% ladderized tuition fee increase in the Cordillera State Universities and Colleges. This is extended as a critique of the government’s moves to commercialize education as manifested by the decreasing state subsidy and its encouragement of SUC’s to be self-sufficient and to welcome income-generating projects and private tie-ups. Also, the right to decent employment is raised. This includes the creation of jobs that square with the abilities and educational attainment of the youth and more vitally, jobs that attune with the conditions and the needs of the country. Implicitly lambasted is the burgeoning of labor migration which is only a result of the lack of jobs and the inhumane pay of workers in the country. The defense of human rights, including the right to a safe and healthful environment also got into the list of concerns of the youth. The vilification of legitimate youth organizations, the militarization of campuses and communities, the cutting of trees in Luneta Hill to give way to a parking space – all of these were condemned by the North Luzon youth and which they pledge to continue acting against.

Participants shared ides during the caucuses on the second day

Participants shared ides during the caucuses on the second day

Bringing back the 70s and the challenges ahead

The first day was culminated with a unity parade along Session Road and the City Market with the participating organizations bringing on their banners and their funky 70s attire. In fostering the spirit of the First Quarter Storm during the Marcos regime, the 70s theme was upheld to showcase the youth’s continuing commitment to be involved towards the betterment of the society. Several bands and cultural groups such as Salidummay, Kultura and Maxim performed along with the delegates from each province.

In the last day of the Summit, the delegates were grouped according to their province and then shared the specific issues in their communities. The entire Summit was capped by the formation of the alliance called FREEDOM (Fight for our Right to Education, Employment, Environment and Democratic Rights) which will serve as the coordinating body among the provinces and the various organizations as the collaborate in resolving all the issues brought up in the two-day activity. The individuals and member organizations of the alliance are also expected to broaden the network by propagating its ideals and garnering more members.

In conclusion, the 2013 Think Change North Luzon Youth Summit proved to be a success with the delegates it was able to convene in order to discuss the pressing issues the Northern Luzon youth faces and more importantly, set out concrete plans of actions as a response to these issues. This only evinces that today’s youth remain adamant in thinking about change and are even more strong-minded in acting specifically to foster every possible kind of change in their respective communities.

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