WATCH: Dissent, joining rallies do not make students liable, says Duterte
( - February 21, 2019 - 5:28pm

MANILA, Philippines — Students who express dissent are okay, but those who “support, give food and money” to the New People’s Army, risk being labeled as an “enemy,” said President Rodrigo Duterte.

In an ambush interview with reporters, Duterte said: “If you espouse, I said, support the NPAs, espouse the destruction of the government, I will consider you an enemy.”

The president was asked on his stand on National Youth Commissioner Gian Cardema’s request that an executive order be issued to revoke the scholarship of “all anti-government” students.

The president said one’s presence in a rally and expression of dissent do not make him liable.

“But if you go and say, ‘let us go out, join the NPAs, support the NPAs, give food to the NPAs, money to the NPAs,’ then you espouse the destruction of the duly constituted government,” he added.

Cardema drew flak from Vice President Leni Robredo, Cabinet members, lawmakers and youth organizations as they stressed that the proposed move is against the Constitution that champions the freedom of speech, expression and to peacefully assemble and petition the government to redress grievances. — Kristine Joy Patag, video by The STAR/Alexis Romero

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