Monday, June 13, 2005


As the political situation worsens by the day, the regime of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is fast crumbling like a house of bricks on a weak foundation, says National Union of Students of the Philippines National President Rizza Ramirez.

The daily jueteng scandal revelations and the snowballing audio tape controversy have caused a massive outrage among the people on a corrupt and fraudulent regime experiencing a record negative satisfaction rating way below than any Philippine president since the restoration of democracy in 1986.

But these two scandals are mere tips of the iceberg, Ramirez adds, on why Filipino students are aggressively struggling for her ouster. Apart for her great disregard for the student sector through crippling annual budget cuts of state colleges and universities, she should be held liable for the intensified political repression of student activists in the cities and the provinces.

On the opening of classes last June 6, militant students and community youth staged a mass action in Mendiola to protest the regime’s commercialized and repressive educational policies such as the tuition deregulating Education Act of 1982. But true to its fascist tradition, Ramirez laments, the WPD anti-riot police led by a certain Col. Miranda greeted the flag and poster-wielding students with truncheons and shields, mauling at least four students and a public school teacher.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Visayas chapter of the NUSP is allegedly being harassed by military elements under the command of Maj. General Jovito Palparan as part of his reign of terror in the province which has illegally detained, tortured and murdered hundreds of innocent civilians including the assassinations of UCCP Pastor Rev. Edison Lapuz and Atty. Felidito Dacut, both prominent human rights advocates in the region.

As such, Ramirez stresses, GMA should be criminally charged for employing unconstitutional prior restraints on legitimate student assemblies through its all-too frequent no permit-no rally policy and for ordering an intensive counter-insurgency campaign by rabid fascists such as Maj. Gen. Palparan implicitly targeted at legal human rights and student organizations such as KARAPATAN-EV and NUSP-EV, respectively, to intensify political repression on a national scale.

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has utterly exposed her anti-people and anti-student bias for the past four and a half years. The Filipino youth and students are already restive and impatient for a shift in educational policies albeit a change in government.

With creeping political repression and fundamental economic collapse amidst a tense political situation, the Filipino student will now have reached a breaking point. The ebb of dissent is over and the students and the youth are ready to topple a regime that has never earned the trust and confidence of the people.

Along with other oppressed sectors and democratic forces, the Filipino students and the youth will again troop to the streets as they did for the past two EDSAs – to claim political power that rightfully belongs to the people, Ramirez finally asserts.

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