Duterte threatens to cut UP funding if students skip classes

By Azer Parrocha

November 18, 2020, 8:33 am

<p>President Rodrigo Duterte <em>(Presidential Photo)</em></p>

President Rodrigo Duterte (Presidential Photo)

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night threatened to slash the funding of the University of the Philippines (UP) if students skipped classes to join rallies.

In a taped speech, Duterte told students to stop schooling if they were there to supposedly be recruited by communist rebels.

“Iyong mga eskwelahan, UP? Fine. Maghinto kayo ng aral (Schools, UP? Stop schooling). I will stop the funding,” he said.

The President said students didn’t know better than to join anti-government protests.

“Nandiyan ‘yan, wala na ginawa itong ano kundi mag-recruit ng mga komunista diyan. Tapos nag-aaral kayo, ang gusto ninyong binibira ang gobyerno. Masyado namang nakasuwerte kayo. Huwag talaga kayong matakot – manakot rather, kasi I will oblige you (That’s already there, they have done nothing except to recruit communists. You go to school then criticize the government. You’re too lucky. Don’t threaten me because I will oblige),” he said.

Duterte also slammed students from Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) for threatening to go on a mass strike until the government assists communities affected by recent typhoons.

He said ADMU students should also stop schooling and make better use of their time.

“Stop schooling. That will save money for your parents. Better make use of your time anywhere,” Duterte said.

He told them to allow the national government to do its job in responding to calamities and the health crisis.

“You are taking the cudgels of the poor ahead of your time. That is not your worry. That is the worry of government. Kami, sabi ko, nagtatrabaho kami. Government workers kami (I said, we’re working. We’re government workers),” Duterte said.

He defended the government’s typhoon response, daring them to wait for the next typhoon and check on the assistance given.

“I'd suggest you stop schooling. Until mabakunahan lahat ng Pilipino (until every Filipino is inoculated with a vaccine), you resume your duty. And you wait for another typhoon and see if the help that we extend is enough to your satisfaction,” he said.

ADMU students earlier planned to “withhold the submission of any school requirements” to condemn the government’s supposed “criminally neglectful response” to recent typhoons that hit the country and the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

On Sunday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque warned these students that they might not graduate if they refused to submit their academic requirements. (PNA)