Academic says Filipino students not entitled to a political stand. The Constitution suggests otherwise.

January 10, 2020 - 1:13 PM
UP students
Students of UP Diliman protest against jeepney modernization. (Photo from UP Diliman USC)

A researcher and academic claimed that students are not supposedly entitled to take a political stand. The Philippine Constitution, however, states that they are encouraged to be involved in public and civil affairs as part of their role in nation-building.

Twitter user @iskonglasalista or Benedict Exconde wrote that ” students don’t have the entitlement to take a political stand” since tend to be “gullible.”

“Honestly, students don’t have the entitlement to take a political stand. All they have is an ideal but gullible view of things and not what working, tax-paying adults actually have to go through on a daily basis. All that they have is a flawed understanding of the world and life,” he wrote.

Exconde added in a follow-up tweet that students must first “know how it is actually like to earn their own money, pay taxes, provide for themselves, and their loved ones, worry about their safety and that of their loved ones at night or while commuting, etc.”

“They should never think that they and their Marxist professors and teachers know better than honest and tax-paying citizens,” he continued.

Exconde’s tweets received various reactions but one user called him out for disregarding the role of the youth in society.

“Lasalyano ka ba talaga? Hindi ba unang taon pa lang ng kolehiyo, in-e-expose na agad tayo sa mga socio-political issue? May frosh (freshmen) elections pa nga e. Doon pa lang, binibigyan na tayo ng options to choose which platforms will best serve us,” Twitter user @justeanapay said.

Another user pointed out that the Filipino youth are actually encouraged by the Constitution to take an active role in nation-building.

Twitter user @rupertnotholmes retweeted Exconde’s post and shared a screengrab of the provision that contradicts the latter’s opinion.

“The State, in fact, should encourage it, per Sec. 13, Article II, 1987 Constitution,” he said.

Section 13 of Article II under the 1987 Philippine Constitution states:

“The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.” 

According to a piece from The Conversation titled “Why we should pay attention to the power of youth,” young people “gain new skills when they become engaged politically.”

“If they participate when they are young, they are also more likely to participate later on. Adults also benefit by learning from youth, and society benefits from the new ideas and the fresh perspective of young people, as well as from their future participation,” the article noted.