Press Release
August 19, 2019

Statement of Sen. Francis Pangilinan on attacks against student activism
Youth activists are heroes: Kiko

Young people have always been the catalysts of change, or in today's language society's disruptors.

Without young people situating themselves in society, pondering if not criticizing it, and eventually acting to change it, we would not be enjoying the freedoms we have today.

Maybe we would still be an oppressed Spanish colony if Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, and other young people chose to live quiet, unexamined lives and not become activists who are conscious of the injustices around them, enlightened by their reading and travel, and inspired and inspiring to change their reality. Maybe we would still be under Japanese occupation if young people like Wenceslao Vinzons at Antonio Nieva did not fight the invaders. Maybe we would still be under a Marcos (Imelda?) dictatorship if young people like Edgar Jopson and Lean Alejandro did not join in the strikes, marches, and demonstrations that led to the peaceful EDSA People Power Revolution.

Outside the Philippines, maybe the Vietnam War would still be raging if young Americans did not oppose the massive bloodletting halfway around the world to them. Maybe communists would still rule Czechoslovakia if young people did not participate in the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

Today we are in awe of the young people of Hong Kong who continue to fight for their freedom and their future.

Young people paying attention, actively participating, and learning from the past have always changed the game, broken new ground, created the new. Because youth is boundless energy. Because youth is undying hope. Because youth is fated future.

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