In the face of a ‘word war’ between President Noynoy Aquino and militant 2013 Senate bet Teddy Casiño, the youth group Anakbayan offered to host public debates between the two, with universities and colleges as venues.
The two engaged in a ‘word war’ since Monday, after Aquino was questioned by members of New Zealand media regarding the rise in the number of human rights violations in the country. Instead of answering the question, the President merely dismissed the violations as ‘propaganda’. He then took a potshot at Casiño and his alleged poor showing in surveys.
“The problem with Noynoy and his spokesperson is they only talk big in forums where their opponent can’t answer back. Magaling lang sila kapag yung inaaway nila hindi makasagot” said Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan.
“We dare Noynoy to back up his claim that human rights violations are merely ‘propaganda’ by defending that position in front of the relatives and victims themselves of such violations: the mothers of Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan, the mother of Jonas Burgos, children of Dr. Gerry Ortega, the family of Dr. Leonard Co, the surviving members of the Capion family. He can even bring that sorry excuse of a presidential spokesperson with him as saling kitkit” said the youth leader.
Several members of the Capion family were massacred last week in Tampakan, South Cotabato at the hands of Army troops. Ortega and Co, meanwhile, are two other victims of extra-judicial killings under Aquino. Burgos, Empeño, and Cadapan, are all victims of enforced disappearances under the previous administration and still have not been surfaced by the military until today.
He added “If they can’t defend their positions in a public forum, in front of the next generation of our nation’s leaders, then they should just shut up.”
The youth group has said that its chapters in the University of the Philippines and Polytechnic University of the Philippines can easily organize and host such a public debate.
But Crisostomo himself was doubtful whether Aquino would take up the challenge, saying “We doubt it. We all know that what Noynoy and his spokesperson are good at is kwentong barbero, no offense meant to all truthful and honorable barbers out there”.