Archives for posts with tag: campus democracy

Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) strongly opposed the proposal of some legislators to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility. The current minimum age is 15 years old under the Juvenile Justice Act.  The said proposal is a mere blame game on the government’s failure to address the problem of increasing numbers of children involved in crimes.

 Violation of the Child’s Rights

Under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN-CRC), a child means every human being below the age of eighteen years of age.  The indicated age should enjoy his/her right to be free from any criminal responsibility (e.g. capital punishment, life imprisonment etc.) It is very clear that our government would be violating the said international convention of which we are a signatory if the said proposal will be adopted.

 Rehabilitation, not punishment

SDK affirm its belief that youth offenders do not deserve punishment, most of the said offenders who committed crimes belong to the poor and working class families who have longed been deprived of a decent life.  They were pushed to resort on illegal activities because they need to survive on a barbaric world of consumerism.  The real culprit on this menace is no other than the government itself, who failed to provide a real program to rehabilitate youth offenders for them to be reintegrated and assume a constructive role in our society. The proposal to lower the minimum age on criminal responsibility will only make the real culprit (the government) get out of its responsibility.  It will not solve a single problem on the issue of youth perpetrated crimes.

 They should be in schools, not in jails

Youth perpetrated crimes will be lessened or in the maximum be non-existent if the youth are enjoying their right to education. But in reality, drop-out rates in schools are increasing due to extreme poverty. Worst of all, the government continues to cut budgets in education and promotes commercialization. This is the government’s worst crime, depriving the youth of his/her right to be educated and build their capacity to live decently.

We call on the legislators to stop this non-sense blame game and focus on creating policies that will ensure our right to education and to live with dignity. Lowering the minimum age on criminal responsibility will never create a substantial solution. But ensuring our rights will definitely generate a more progressive, responsible, empowered and dignified citizens in the future.

September 15, 2011


Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) supports the call for amendments of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila – University of the City of Manila (PLM) Charter to pave the way in installing a student representative in the Board of Regents (BOR).   This is also in compliance with the Higher Education Modernization Act (HEMA LAW 1997 Sec. 2 No. 7) that requires all state universities and colleges to have a student representative to the BOR via student election.

It is of vital importance that the student must be represented at the BOR. Aside from the corporate duty of the BOR, this governing body is entitled to do its functions as policy making body, fixing and arrangement of the school fees/charges and faculty salaries, concerns of curricula and other academic matters, appointment/recommendation of school president and scrutiny and approval of joint ventures and donations for the school (as mandated by the HEMA Law). These are concerns that a voice of the students must be heard and considered.

But since the creation of the said charter, students of PLM have remained marginalized and powerless in asserting their positions and concerns to the governing body. The lack of student representation bred numerous incidents of campus repression which never attained fair trial and justice.

We are for campus democracy, we struggle for student empowerment. Not because we want to rule the campus but because we want to have a voice that will make the authorities listen to our needs and most of all, we are stake holders of these schools. Our parents pay taxes to make this school operational.

Education should primarily work for the emancipation of the individuals, the educational institution such as PLM should teach the students of things that will make the youth understand its role as the future nation builders and make themselves empowered to participate in affairs concerning their future. But the absence of student representation in the BOR only teaches the students to remain marginalized and become apathetic.

August 16, 2011