150 Years After Rizal, Fascism Still Prevails: 7 Militants Including 5 UPLB Student Leaders Detained for Scoring Aquino’s Twisted Policies

Posted on June 19, 2011

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Fascism still state’s answer to youth’s calls 150 years after Rizal: 7 militants including 5 youth detained for scoring Aquino’s twisted policies

“If Aquino indeed values the spirit of Rizal’s life and death, then why does the state continue to persecute and detain the youth which it considers as the hope of the nation?”

Kabataan Partylist-Southern Tagalog Regional coordinator John Paulo Bautista stressed these words in an ongoing indignation rally today in front of the Calamba Municipal Jail to call for the immediate release of 7 activists including 5 members of Kabataan Partylist. The 7 were nabbed by around 25 members of the Presidential Security Guard and local police forces after expressing dissent during President Noynoy Aquino’s speech on the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of our national hero, Jose Rizal.

The protesters chanted “Walang pagbabago sa ilalim ni Aquino!” “Edukasyon karapatan ng mamamayan!” and “Tunay na reporma sa lupa, ipaglaban!” to register the Southern Tagalog youth and people’s disgust on the oppressive policies of the Aquino administration that have only worsened various issues of the region.

The 5 youth detained are identified as Mikel Mozo, Ynik Ante, Ruffa Solano, Bhen Aguihon and Cathy Gigantone, all members of Kabataan Partylist – U.P. Los Baños chapter. The other two were Joefrey Barreto and Rodel Badayor of Anakpawis Partylist- Southern Tagalog.

The protest action also marked the 10th anniversary of Kabataan Partylist in serving as the sole representative of the youth in Congress. Bautista said that the protest signified that for the next years, the youth will intensify its role inside the walls of Congress or outside the streets to demand the Aquino government’s concrete actions to the worsening education crisis.

“Aquino’s blatant disregard to the education sector with last year’s P1.39 billion education budget cut has caused thousands of youth from Southern Tagalog to not be able to enroll this semester. It is therefore our constitutionally guaranteed right to show our dissent to this continuing state abandonment,” Bautista stated.

Julien Urrea, spokesperson of  Kabataan Partylist-UPLB narrated how tuition again increased in the supposedly premiere state university of the region. She said that tuition now costs around P1500 per unit in UPLB because of the adjustment in the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance program.

“UPLB which flags itself as the center of agriculture was once a campus that catered the tertiary education of poorest of the poor including students who are sons and daughters of farmers. Now that fact only remains as a myth,” Urrea added.

Meanwhile, Anakbayan-Timog Katagalugan Deputy Secretary General Neil John Macuha expressed how majority of  peasants from the region remain landless due to rampant land-use conversions and land-grabbing of local landlords. “A year after the farmers of Hacienda Yulo were detained, now the youth and the people still experience the same state fascism. But dismal social conditions such as price hikes on oil and basic commodities pave the way for the people’s disgust.,” he said.

“The youth of today understands more than ever that our struggle for quality and accessible education is but connected to the peasant’s plight for land reform. Such as what our national hero has died for, the youth believes that the social cancers that what Rizal has written in Noli and El Fili still remain in our society,” Macuha added.

As of 3:00PM today, the 7 individuals remain detained and are filed with charges of alarm and grave scandal case and are requiring each a P6000 bail. “We will not give in to these conditions that only disregard the heroic role of the youth. We call on everyone to show support and join us in calling for their immediate release. History has taught us that nothing else but the Filipino people’s collective action can create genuine change,” Bautista stressed. #

PRESS RELEASE

June 19, 2011

Reference Person:

John Paulo Bautista (09161483935)

KABATAAN PARTYLIST – Southern Tagalog Coordinator

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