MANILA -- National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairman Ronald Cardema said on Sunday that he is campaigning for unity and nation-building and not advocating against youth militants.
Cardema made this comment after Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao on Friday criticized his leadership for allegedly taking part in President Rodrigo R. Duterte's red witch hunting.
As Vice-President of the Asian Youth Council, the association of NYC Chairmen and Youth Ministers in the Asia Pacific Region, I have witnessed how our stronger neighbors like Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and China are training the millions of youthful citizens in their respective countries towards nationalism, nation-building, and towards supporting their government troops," he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview.
Cardema said the radical leftist groups, who use their time to attack the government and its troops every week, hinder true nationalism and economic growth in the country.
"Hindi ko bina-brand lahat ng makakaliwa ha, iyong mga radikal lamang. Ano ba ang magandang dapat ituro sa mga kabataan, hindi ba nasyonalismo dahil sila nga ang susunod na henerasyon ng mga pinuno (I'm not branding all the leftist groups, only the radical ones. Isn't nationalism the best trait to teach our youth since they're the next generation of leaders?)," he added.
Casilao said Cardema is using his office as a platform for his rabid anti-left sentiments particularly targeting youth activists.
Not only is this highly illegal but poses a serious threat to the life and security of youth activists," he added.
Meanwhile, Cardema told PNA that the society already knows who among youth activists are allied with the Communist Party of the Philippines-National People's Army (CPP-NPA).
"They [radical youth activists] are still trying to deceive all of us by telling us that they are not supportive of the red leftist armed fighters. Why haven't we heard them rally against the New People's Army, even once, especially when the NPA are burning cell sites which millions of Filipinos use every day," he added.
Cardema challenged critics and radical youth activists "to stop defending their red fighter comrades and start denouncing their illegal and terroristic acts".
The youth leader earlier called on Sangguniang Kabataan officials to strengthen their influence on the youth and keep their stance against those allied with rebel groups. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency