UP students question PNoy’s performance in pre-SONA rally

by Dexter Cabalza

 

photo by Jon Benedik Bunquin

 

 

University of the Philippines students gave their second-year gift to President Aquino on the streets once again.

Ten days before the president delivers his state of the nation address, UP Diliman, Manila and students from other universities, together with leaders and members of indigenous sectors, marched to Mendiola to raise issues addressed on the second year of the administration.

Student Regent Cleve Kevin Robert Arguelles led the UP contingent, raising the state’s abandonment of education despite the increased budget allocation to the university.

The Department of Budget and Management approved P10.78 billion or about 60 percent of the P18.4 billion budget proposed by the university administration for 2013. This is the highest budget allocation UP shall be receiving from the government.

“Kung makikita ninyo ay eight billion pa ang kulang doon. Eight billion pa ang hahanapin natin. Hindi ibig sabihing kapag dinagdagan ang budget n gating pamantasan, okay na sa atin iyon (There is still an eight billion deficiency from our budget proposal. We need to produce this eight billion. It does not mean that we should be complacent with this additional budget allocation),” Arguelles said.

Meanwhile, Kabataan partylist secretary-general Vencer Crisostomo questioned whether Aquino’s daang matuwid served its purpose on the youth and the marginalized sectors.

“Mukhang ang accomplishment na maipagmamalaki ni Noynoy Aquino sa kanyang SONA ay para sa kanyang mga amo: ang Estados Unidos, sa kapawa niya mga haciendero, sa mga kaklase, kaibigan at kakampi niya; habang puro paghihirap yung dinaranas ng sambayanan (It seems that the accomplishment Noynoy Aquino will be talking in his SONA is for his masters: the United States of America, the hacinederos, his classmates, friends and political allies; while Filipino citizens are suffering),” Crisostomo said.

He further compared the President’s daang matuwid to a dead end for the Filipino youth, a killer highway for the rights of citizens and an express lane for Aquino’s benefactors.

Arguelles said the UP community will set up another series of protest days before the SONA.

“Sawang-sawa na tayong marinig ang kanyang hokus pokus doon sa kanyang SONA tungkol sa mga development projects niya na hindi napapakinabangan ng mamamayan, (We are tired of his magic tricks in SONA about the development projects in which the public does not really benefit), he added.

The Diliman campus started its pre-SONA protest through a student walkout organized by the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP.

Around 200 students joined the snake rally inside the Palma Hall before proceeding to Mendiola Friday.

University Student Council Students’ Rights and Welfare Committee head Aryanna Canacan said the walkout served as one of the ways the students can assert their right to education by adding political pressure to the administration. with a report from Elizabeth Escaño

 

 

photo by Eunice Abique

 

photo by Eunice Abique

 

photo by Eunice Abique

 

photo by Jon Benedik Bunquin

 

photo by Jon Benedik Bunquin

 

photo by Marisse Gabrielle Panaligan

 

photo by Marisse Gabrielle Panaligan

 

photo by Marisse Gabrielle Panaligan

 

photo by Marisse Gabrielle Panaligan