The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) criticized the recent statements issued by its former national president, Presidential Chief of Staff Mike Defensor as “irresponsible if not downright despicable” coming from one who was a former ‘student leader.’
Defensor had earlier told the media “to practice restraint” in their coverage of present political events and developments.
“That someone who was once the national president of our organization could utter such statements dismays and infuriates us. We wonder how he could still bear to look at himself in the mirror,” said Delos Reyes.
The NUSP is a national alliance of student councils and governments with a membership of six hundred and fifty nationwide. Since its establishment in 1957, it has been at the vanguard of the students’ struggle for their rights and welfare and in solidarity with the Filipino people’s struggle for genuine freedom and democracy. Defensor was its national president from 1988-1989.
“Under the Marcos regime, the NUSP was banned along with other anti-Marcos organizations. But this did not stop the National Union from struggling against the dictatorship. Student councils, publications and other institutions were re-established, thanks to the determined and unwavering strength of the student masses with the vital support of the various sectors. Systematic censorship and repression of student councils, organization and publications however continued and the student movement took on the challenge,” Delos Reyes recounted.
“Undoubtedly, the students played a crucial role in combating the rampant suppression of the voice of the media. And now, Defensor who had once espoused the ideals of the youth and students for freedom of expression, is turning his back on those principles, and even being party to silencing the students and the people,” he asserted.
“Mr. Defensor has failed to live up to the NUSP tradition. We unequivocally disown him and we do not hesitate in erasing him from our history books.” Delos Reyes declared.
“Our message to Defensor: shut up if you know no better than to ‘defend’ Arroyo’s repressive Proclamation 1017 and to continue being a lackey of this already desperate regime,” Delos Reyes.