ACTIVIST youth groups denounced the statement of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) tagging the University in the purported “Red October” ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.

Dindo Roxas, chairman of the League of Filipino Students-UST, claimed the move of the AFP placed the youth in danger, as it could be used as a justification by authorities to harass not only activists but Thomasians in general.

Roxas also lashed out against Duterte for his crackdown on opposition figures.

“[Matapos] niyang ipakulong si [Leila] de Lima, ipatanggal si [Chief Justice Maria Lourdes] Sereno, kasuhan si [Antonio] Trillanes at [matindi] pang panggigipit sa mga kritiko ng gobyerno, ay inaatake naman niya [ngayon] ang sektor ng kabataan-estudyante na tuwirang tumitindig laban sa kanyang diktadurya,” Roxas said.

Anakbayan-UST Spokesperson Jeremiah Pasion said UST might have been tagged because Thomasians were active in voicing out political views.

Pasion likened this “tactic” of Duterte to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’s anti-communist crackdown to justify the nationwide declaration of martial law.

“Ito ay walang iba kung hindi isa sa mga desperado at walang basehang pakana ng kaniyang rehimen upang i-disregard at wasakin ang nabuong pagkakaisa ng iba’t-ibang demokratikong sektor ng kabataan at ng masang Pilipino,” Pasion added.

Anakbayan-UST staged a rally denouncing martial law and AFP’s allegation of a “Red October” coup in front of the University on Friday afternoon.

Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., AFP assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, revealed on Wednesday 18 schools in Metro Manila allegedly serving as recruiting grounds for the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army.


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