I’m pretty sure you knew what you were doing. Hell, it was probably your goal. But your recent comments equating LFS to the Marcos dictatorship made me mad. Okay, really mad. In fact I’m still mad. But time gives you some perspective.
It’s really convenient that you decided to make your recent remarks so close to LFS’ 34th Anniversary. It was timed so well, I’m suspicious that somewhere in the back in your mind you have a respect for LFS. Like how two bitter boxing rivals build a sense of respect through their many battles fought in the ring.
But to be clear, we don’t respect you.
Not when you disparage the principles that LFS was founded on and has stood for since the time your father languished in jail.
Not when you insult the founding members of LFS and the tens of thousands of students who have proudly taken up the call to defend the Philippines against exploitation and foreign intervention and you equate them to the murderous regime that not only murdered your father, but many of our own members.
Not when you, as the Commander-in-Chief, continue to allow the murder, imprisonment, and disappearances of legal organizers throughout the country by YOUR military.
Not when you continue to slash and cut spending to not only education, but basic services across the board; in favor of increased militarization and suppression of our people.
Not when you prove yourself every single day to be an ever willing puppet to U.S. imperialism and other foreign capitalists.
Want me to go on? I could. Ever since you took the presidential oath, you have been a bigger dictator than LFS ever was in your delusional mind. While you used your parent’s legacy and family money to get into Malacanang, the various elected officers of LFS gain the respect and trust of its members and the masses they serve. That’s how democracy works, by the way.
But I want to thank you for your recent comments. They have galvanized the current and former members of LFS across the world. It has brought attention to LFS and its fellow youth and student organizations as well as the issues they fight for. We will remember your words as we celebrate the anniversary of LFS and prepare for the upcoming strikes for education and social services. We will remember them as we encourage youth and students to fight for their right for a nationalist, scientific, and mass-based education.
It’s like in sports, when a team trash talks their opponent. Their opponent will use their insults, sometimes going as far as posting said insults in the locker room, as motivation to make them eat their words in the coming game. We hope to do the same with you.
As an overseas chapter of LFS, our members connect our struggles as Filipino Americans to the system of oppression that currently exists in the Philippines. The very system you defend and strengthen forces thousands of people out of the country everyday in search of the life they can’t have back home. Despite being thousands of miles away from our homeland, we refuse to separate our struggle here in America from the struggle in the Philippines. Maybe if you and your fellow student council members joined the genuine struggle LFS is apart of, the current exodus of Filipinos out of the country wouldn’t be happening. Think about that next time you want to hold up your legacy in student government.
In the end, LFS is just one organization out of many that continues to fight for national democracy in the Philippines. It’s not about loyalty to one org, but a commitment to an entire movement to dismantle the conditions and problems that suffocate the Filipino people. Even if one day LFS no longer exists in the form we see today, I can guarantee that there will always be Filipino students willing to take up the call to serve their people and fight against oppression, worldwide.
But today, on our anniversary, I am even more proud to call myself a member of the League of Filipino Students. And part of that, is thanks to you.
Lyle Prijoles is proud to have been Secretary General (2005-2007) and Chairperson (2007-2009) for the LFS-SFSU chapter