Unfazed by Duterte’s threats and intimidation, a bigger mobilization led by thousands of youth is set on February 23 to oppose his fascist dictatorship and embark on the success of the nationwide walkout for education, freedom, and democracy.

The February 1 walkout is a resounding success that it has compelled no less than the president himself to take notice and speak. In classic Duterte fashion, he took a jab at the massive mobilizations and warned UP students who keep on walking out of their classes to protest that he will give their slots to bright and deserving Lumad youth.

In yet another grand display of his ludicrousness, the demented president went to offensive mode after being rightfully exposed as the country’s number one tormentor for implementing fascist and anti-people policies that only serve himself, his fellow oligarchs, and his imperialist masters.

All over the country, the youth has taken to the streets to raise the numerous pressing people’s issues which include the anti-poor tax reform law, bogus free education law and impending tuition hikes, attacks on press freedom, unabated killings under the war on drugs and crackdown on progressives, and ultimately, Duterte’s maneuvers to install a full-blown fascist dictatorship through the charter change and martial law in Mindanao. Seemingly taken aback, the president resorted to his usual cheap antics to deflect public criticism.

For the record, Duterte’s gesture is an unwelcome invitation for the Lumad students. They are bright enough not to succumb to Duterte’s gimmickry after threatening to bomb their schools and going to a stretch to call them NPA students and sympathizers. But more importantly, the indigenous peoples of Mindanao have established a better and genuinely free system of education deeply rooted in their culture and heritage–a treasure they will not abandon if not only for the consistent militarization of their communities.

Duterte, as an agent of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism, can never comprehend that it is his intensified fascism and neoliberal depredation that compels a growing section of youth and students to call for his regime’s end. Now more than ever, the youth movement is determined to bring him down and he must not take yesterday’s show of force lightly.

On February 23, the Duterte regime will witness an even greater number of students walk out of their classes as they symbolically give up their slots and fight for the rights of the Filipino people. Duterte must do likewise in his spot in Malacanang and not wait for the revolutionary movement to drag him to his rightful slot in the rotting hell of fascist dictators. #


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