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Opinion

Truth tagging

ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato - The Philippine Star

The time has come for an education in the realm of truth as Vice President and Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Sara Duterte expressed to the public with both guts and determination the exploitation of the youth by the CPP-NPA-NDF.

Based on a UNICEF report dating back to 2018, children in the Philippines regardless of socio-economic status, experienced high levels of violence where 2 in 3 are physically and psychologically abused.

In the same breath, cyberviolence also emerged as a serious threat with the Philippines becoming a source, transit and destination country for commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking. While in 2018 access to education was quite encouraging, based on this situation analysis, the Philippines like the rest of the world eventually faced a pandemic that changed the course of events.

Unfortunately however, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ought to have been met by 2015, were not completely reached and based on the said report of children in the Philippines, a range of measures to address barriers and causes that prevent girls and boys from accessing their rights were recommended.

At this juncture, it is high time we direct our attention to the massive annihilator we now know as communist terrorism which has, for more than 50 years, infiltrated the rights and welfare of our youth. While I am not particularly sure if our problems on insurgency were cited in the said analysis, I find it rather timely to incorporate such harrowing concerns on the destruction of young Filipino minds over the past five decades. This is the naked truth as emphasized by our VP and Secretary of Education, whose leadership role places her at the forefront of youth formation.

If one will recall, in 2019, Lumad schools were shut down by the Department of Education as it failed to “fill in the education gap for learners” as sighted too by VP/Secretary Duterte and that the time used by such schools may have been utilized to indoctrinate children and prepare them to join the NPA.

While the Makabayan bloc claims that the Lumad schools were shut down on the basis of a false red-tagging report by former Secretary and NTF-ELCAC vice chair Hermogenes Esperon Jr., the truth of the matter remains that such schools were shut down due to left-leaning ideologies taught to students with major sources of NPA recruitment in the region of Davao.

If I were to go back to the MDG, particularly MDG #2, where boys and girls alike would be able to complete a full course of primary schooling, and at the same time compare it to the course of actions undertaken, the DepEd then, on account of Lumad schools, found substantial evidence of non-compliance in curriculum standards set by the department.

Safe to say, if this isn’t evidence enough on the sheer violation of the rights of the child, together with poverty, lack of access to a proper education and rabid exploitation, then I would say that it would be tantamount to turning a blind eye on the state of Philippine education that ought to be built on truth in order for us to trust.

The fact that parents groups have backed up the stand of the VP/Secretary in revealing the real intentions of the Makabayan bloc is also a clear demonstration that education, as an institution, deserves the protection of the whole of society. If once the father said that his concern is on “human lives,” the daughter on the other hand shows her concern for human minds where through it, justice, freedom and equality is achieved.

No good life is possible without an education and inaccessibility to basic education as VP/Secretary Sara Duterte stated with regard to the closure of Lumad schools is a clear truth tag on the deprivation of learners as we place utmost importance on their best interests. Education is the most powerful weapon one can use to change the world. We call out an enemy that defies such rights while lavishing on a “love affair” that has been long found out.

As a parent, I stand with our VP and Secretary of Education on the firm belief that a good education is the best gift we can ever give our children. While prolonged twisting and turning positions are undertaken by the Makabayan bloc, only one move has been made by Sara Duterte and that is to tell it as it is.

The philosopher John Ruskin once said, “He who has truth at his heart need never fear the want of persuasion on his tongue.” In this case, it is a she. Checkmate.

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