Youth groups storm Mendiola, protest continuing reign of impunity under Aquino

A DAY before the anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre, youth groups marched to Mendiola  to protest the continuing human rights violations and impunity under the administration of President Noynoy Aquino. The youth groups also said the education crisis is “worse then ever,” citing increasing tuition rates, commercialization schemes in state universities, and the woes under the K-12 program.

The youth made variations to “Amalayer” to describe Aquino’s misgivings and abuses, such as “amabudgetcutter,” “amatuitionhiker,” “amapricehiker,” “amaK12implementer” and “AMAhumanrightsviolator.” The youth groups brought an effigy depicting Noynoy perpetrating these different injustices.

“Walang nagbago at lumalala pa ang kalagayan. Sa tuwid na daan, walang hustisya, walang edukasyon, at hikahos ang taumbayan,” said Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan.

The youth groups slammed the government for slow and delayed justice for the Maguindanao Massacre victims and many others whose human rights have been violated before and under Aquino.

Kabataan Party-list President Terry Ridon said that impunity still reigns under the Aquino administration.

“Criminals such as Gloria Arroyo, Palparan and the Ampatuans seem to get a free pass from the administration. Under Oplan Bayanihan, state terror is still the policy,” Ridon said.

“We should never forget these injustices under Aquino, and should make his government accountable,” he added.

The groups also assailed the tuition hikes and commercialization schemes in campuses. They said many are by this period already dropping out of school because of high tuition rates.

“The education crisis is worsening under Aquino. His government slashed the budget for education, and his policies direct SUCs to commercialize and raise revenues through higher tuition rates.
Meanwhile, he has not done anything to stop tuition and other fee hikes in privates universities,” Ridon said.

Ridon said the government’s higher education “roadmap” is a scheme to privatize and commercialize public universities.

He also assailed the railroading of the K-12 program despite the broad opposition of parents and students to the program.

The youth groups also decried policies on price hikes of daily needs and social services such as the planned MRT-3 hike in 2013 and AO 31.

“These are services this administration has sworn to provide. But Noynoy Aquino’s real boss is the private sector and big foreign capitalist interests,” said Crisostomo.

The youth groups said they are gearing up for bigger protests on Bonifacio Day on November 30 and leading up to International Human Rights Day on December 10.

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