Former student leader encourages youth to become ‘positive activists’

A former student activist who now works as an environmental development officer in a water district here has encouraged the youth to promote “positive activism” instead of joining an armed struggle against the government.

POSITIVE ACTIVISM. Maria Dianne Rallon (standing, right), project development officer of the Metro Cebu Water District, interacts with participants of a Youth Leadership Seminar organized by the Central Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in November 2016. Rallon on Nov. 26, 2020, prodded student leaders to use their activism in influencing ideal policies, either in private or government employment, rather than taking up arms against the state. (PNA contributed photo)

Maria Dianne Rallon, project development officer of the Metro Cebu Water District, said on November 26, 2020 armed struggle is not a formula for peace but is one that would destroy the faith of the citizens towards the government.

Rallon recounted how she was recruited into the left-leaning League of Filipino Students and Students Catholic Action of the Philippines while studying in a university here and later went to the mountains after joining rallies and marches in the city.

She recalled that she and other recruits were termed as “nabuslot” (punctured) when they started in the underground movement.

“Nagsimula ako sa (I started in) Kabataang Makabayan,” Rallon said.

She noted that there was a moment when she started questioning the intention of the movement when she saw farmers in the mountains carrying guns.

“Even before, taking up arms against the government is not a solution for peace or to commit the good intentions of the government and for the country. Our government may not be perfect but the rule of law behooves upon us, citizens, to protect this country (as) this is our own,” Rallon said in Filipino in a video message sent to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Communist activism that leads one to take up arms against the state would certainly not solve the menace of society but rather add up to the burden of the authorities, she said.

Rallon said many former student leaders like her are now “functional activists” who could contribute ideas to come up with the best decisions, either in private or public employment.

“Now that I am a public servant, the struggle (pakikibaka) that I took as an activist before is now being used in serving the government and in my own little way, involving myself in policy-making, looking at things over (the) environment,” she said.

Rallon also said she has been helping the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Office of the Civil Defense here achieve their performance tasks and mandates by serving as a member of their advisory board.

As she hates recruitment in schools, she urged youth NPA fighters to return to the fold of the law.

As for those who are thinking of going up the mountains, Rallon called on them to stop the nonsense of talking about taking the struggle into their hands.

“Sa totoo lang (The truth is), I repudiate and I denounce the CPP-NPA-NDF in my whole life. Kung hindi ako lumabas sa mga napasukan ko, hindi ko na siguro nagagampanan ang responsibilidad bilang kapatid, bilang ina, bilang kaibigan (Had I not left the organizations that I joined, I would not be able to perform my responsibilities as a sister, mother, or friend),” she said.

The Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (John Rey Saavedra, PNA)

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