While there were thousands of protesters opposing the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, there were seven pro-Marcos/Duterte supporters who backed the late dictator’s burial, as shown by the banner that they held up throughout their stay in Rizal Park. They called themselves “Duterte Youth.”
— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) November 25, 2016
The group called for Vice President Leni Robredo and left-leaning Cabinet members to resign from their posts after criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to allow Marcos’ burial.
Before going to Luneta on Friday, November 25, to voice out their support for Duterte and his decision on the late dictator’s burial, they also expressed their support through their Facebook page. They also supported former Senator Bongbong Marcos’ case against Robredo contesting her vice-presidency.
“DUTERTE YOUTH welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court to support President Rodrigo Duterte in giving full military honors to former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. (Presidents are buried there, Medal of Valor Awardees are buried there, and World War II Veterans are buried there. President Ferdinand Marcos is all of the above, meaning thrice qualified.),” the group said.
“The Supreme Court is also the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) where the Marcos vs Robredo case is in. With the Supreme Court’s voting pattern today in favor of President Ferdinand Marcos, be ready for another possible result, a new Vice-President of the Philippines (as mentioned by President Rodrigo Duterte in China),” the group added.
Duterte Youth chairman, Ronald Gian Carlo Cardema, was even seen meeting Marcos.
But the comments showed how some netizens were alarmed by the group, which seemed to remind them of “Hitler Youth.”
One commenter also slammed Duterte Youth for assuming that with the SC’s “voting pattern,” the Philippines might have a new vice president.
Other commenters pointed out how the members of the Duterte Youth organization don’t seem to look “young” at all.
In a separate post, Facebook user Louie Checa Montemar posted a screenshot of Cardema’s comment on their page, expressing his anger over the failure of his fellow Duterte and Marcos supporters to heed his call for a rally. During the Luneta protest against Marcos’ burial, only seven Duterte Youth members turned up for their rally supporting Duterte and Marcos.
Rumors that started online about the Duterte Youth representing the UP Vanguard were squashed by UP Vanguard Class of 2009 member John Jay Ramos.
— John Ray Ramos (@JuanSinag) November 25, 2016
Since it was discovered that Duterte Youth chairman Cardema was a part of the UP ROTC, the latter released a statement expressing that they remain “nonpartisan.”
“UP ROTC remains nonpartisan and is focused at fulfilling its mission to prepare the youth of the country for future service. It does respect the views and opinions of its members and alumni,” the organization said.
“Members of the Duterte Youth join the organization in their personal capacity and not as representatives of UP ROTC,” the organization added.
According to Britannica, the Hitler Youth was organized in 1933 to educate and train the male German youth in Nazi principles.
They were later disbanded as part of Germany’s “De-Nazification” process and many of the organization’s leaders were put on trial “for corrupting the hearts and minds of millions of young Germans.”