MANILA -- Even after receiving backlash from student-activists, National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairman Ronald Cardema said he remains steadfast in his call to cancel the government scholarships for all anti-government scholars, specifically students allied with the leftist Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

"It’s not about politics [pro or anti-(President Rodrigo) Duterte], it’s about being anti-government especially those in the armed rebellion that is trying to bring down the government," Cardema said in a phone interview Tuesday.

Cardema also reacted to the student-activists’ claim over their right to freely express their opinion, as stated under Republic Act 9500 or "An act to strengthen the University of the Philippines as the National University," which states that "no student shall be denied admission to the national university by reason solely of age, gender, nationality, religious belief, economic status, ethnicity, physical disability, or political opinion, or affiliation".

"Walang batas batas or charter charter para sa mga gustong magpabagsak ng gobyerno (There is no law or charter for those who want to bring down the government)," Cardema said.

The NYC chair stood by his appeal to President Duterte to issue an executive order removing all rebellious anti-government scholars from the government scholarship program.

“The Filipino People formed the Government to govern, to regulate, to discipline, to collect taxes, and to allocate the Filipino People’s funds into government scholarships & programs," he said in a statement previously published.

The statement added that fighting the government means "fighting the majority of the Filipino People and also not fulfilling their roles as the expected breadwinners who will uplift their families and hope in strengthening the country."

"As Chairman of the National Youth Commission, I am requesting our Head of Government, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, to issue an Executive Order removing the government scholarships of all anti-government scholars, specifically those students who are allied with the leftist CPP-NPA-NDF, a terrorist group that is trying to overthrow the Philippine Government and killing our government troops,” Cardema said.

"It is the duty of every Filipino to strengthen our Republic and to identify/fight those who are trying to crush our country,” Cardema added. (PNA)