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EDITORIAL: Duelling Narratives

SENATOR Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa’s recent “red tagging” of Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel has ignited a heated exchange of words between the two sides.

Anakbayan, a prominent youth activist organization, has unequivocally condemned Dela Rosa’s accusations, labelling them as an assault on academic freedom and the right of the youth to organize.

The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, led by Dela Rosa, found itself in the crossfire, with Anakbayan characterizing the hearings as an attempt to quash the youth’s commitment to public service. Dela Rosa, undeterred, pledged to use his influence to expose Manuel’s alleged involvement in youth “radicalization.”

Kabataan Partylist joined the fray, denouncing Dela Rosa’s conduct as unbecoming of a senator and criticizing the use of Senate resources for what they deemed an unwarranted attack on the youth.

Anakbayan echoed these sentiments, questioning the timing of the hearings, which coincided with the House of Representatives’ deliberations on resolutions related to the International Criminal Court’s probe into the “drug war.”

Anakbayan argued that Dela Rosa’s focus on red-tagging served as a diversion tactic, attempting to shift public attention away from the ICC’s scrutiny of him and former President Rodrigo Duterte regarding alleged crimes against humanity in the implementation of Oplan Tokhang.

As the head implementer of the controversial anti-drug campaign during his tenure as PNP chief, Dela Rosa faces accusations stemming from the brutal tactics employed.

In the midst of these allegations and counter-allegations, the discourse surrounding the hearings raises critical questions about the role of senators, the safeguarding of academic freedom, and the potential use of political maneuvers to deflect attention from contentious issues.

The revealing narrative underscores the complexities inherent in the intersection of politics, activism, and the pursuit of justice.

In the unfolding drama between the two, the clash of ideologies has laid bare the intricate web where politics, activism, and justice intersect.

As the duelling narratives persist, it prompts reflection on the role of senators, the imperative defense of academic freedom, and the potential manipulation of political strategies to divert attention from pressing issues.

In the final act of this editorial, it becomes evident that this discord transcends individual personalities and delves into broader questions about the essence of democratic discourse. It beckons society to ponder the delicate balance between scrutinizing public figures and preserving the fundamental rights of the youth to engage in activism and pursue knowledge without fear of reprisal.

Amidst the allegations and counter-allegations, the saga calls for a renewed commitment to fostering an environment where differing perspectives can coexist, challenging each other in a constructive manner.

As the curtain falls on this chapter, the hope is that future dialogues will be guided by a shared dedication to upholding democratic values, ensuring that the pursuit of justice remains undeterred by political maneuvers.

The duel may conclude, but the echoes of this clash linger, serving as a reminder of the ongoing struggle to navigate the complexities at the heart of our democratic fabric.


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