Press Release
February 20, 2019


Sen. Chiz Escudero said National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairman Ronald Cardema is bringing shame to the administration for his "ignorance" of the Constitution when he asked President Duterte to cancel the scholarship of students from state universities and colleges who participate in anti-government protests.

And for this, Escudero wants Cardema's head to roll.

"The sycophantic and obsequious suggestion of the NYC head shows his ignorance of the Constitution and, far from helping, is surely doing a disservice to PRRD and the government," Escudero said.

"Kung may sisipain (sa pwesto) dapat siya at 'di ang mga estudyante," added the Bicolano lawmaker, who chairs the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture.

According to Escudero, this latest pronouncement by Cardema is not part of the NYC's mandate and in fact, clearly a violation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The veteran lawmaker said all students, including those who take part in street protests, are afforded by the state with the right to free speech and expression, peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances. They also enjoy the right to due process and equal protection, just like any other citizens of this country.

Escudero reminded Cardema that this government serves all Filipinos--whether they voted for the President or not.

"Both the President and the government should serve every Filipino without distinction and regardless of political beliefs. Dissent in a democracy should never be frowned upon, much less penalized in any way," Escudero said.

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