Youth solon slams Etta Rosales’ ‘selective amnesia’

RESPONDING to Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chair Etta Rosales’ pronouncement on national television that the weeklong strike that will be launched by students and various youth formations this week “muddles” the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Martial Law, Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino said that the CHR chair has “selectively forgotten the integral role of the student movement” during the Martial Law years.

“When I first heard her pronouncement, I cannot believe my ears. Rosales has seemingly contracted a rare form of selective amnesia. Has she totally forgotten the vital role of the student movement in toppling the Marcos regime?” Palatino asked.

In a news report on ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol this Sunday, Rosales was quoted as saying, “Stop comparing martial law of yesterday to what they are doing now because if they do that they are merely muddling the issue. Mag-aral sila. Naiintindihan ba nila ang sinasabi nila?” Instead of protesting against tuition hikes, Rosales advised students to go to libraries and study about the Martial Law era.

“Muddling the issue? What issue is she pertaining to? This statement is not expected from a veteran of the Martial Law era,” Palatino said. “Rosales has no right to tell students to study Martial Law. It seems that she herself has forgotten the role of the student movement in those dark years,” the youth solon added.

Rosales was an activist in the 1970s and experienced various forms of torture under the hands of the military.

“There is no more fitting way to commemorate Martial Law than to intensify the struggle of students and the youth. The conditions to launch a strike are all present – the spiralling cost of tuition, widening inaccessibility to education, continued misprioritization of funding for education. These are the same conditions that spurred the massive student movement that Rosales herself was part of in the years leading to Martial Law,” Palatino explained.

Various student formations are set to launch a series of nationwide strikes and demonstrations this week to protest various ails of the education sector, including inadequate funding and the intensification of commercialization, or the treatment of education as a business venture.

“Perhaps Ms. Etta Rosales should join the upcoming strike for her to refresh her rusting memory on the value of collective action in asserting democratic rights,” Palatino said.

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