The League of Filipino Students condemns to the highest extent the statement of the UP administration in response to the death of a freshman Behavioral Science student.
In a press conference yesterday, the UP administration led by UP System President Alfredo Pascual summarized their “investigation” with the following statements:
1) Kristel should be blamed for not complying with the requirements on time,
2) Thus, Kristel’s death does not justify the call to revoke for the “no late payment” policy, and Kristel was not forced to file a leave of absence, she voluntarily filed for it,
3) UPM Chancellor Agulto, finding no fault in the policy and feels no guilt whatsoever over the incident, and
4) Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program must be revised.
“These are adding insult to injury. Malinaw ang demands ng estudyante at makaturangan ang mga kahilingan! Nakakagalit na ginamit ng UP Administration ang press conference para i-justify ang flawed na iskema ng STFAP. Hindi reporma ang sagot! Kailangan ito mabasura kung sinsero ang administrasyon na tuldukan na ang pagpapahirap sa mga kabataan at estudyante,” asserted Issa Baguisi, National Spokesperson, League of Filipino Students.
LFS alongside Iskolars ng Bayan were enraged with the outcome of the press conference.
“The UP Administration in its pursuit of Aquino’s plan of deregulation and privatization of education are nothing less of murderers in this case. They are sloppily trying hard to wipe their hands clean off of the issue by standing by their propaganda that they are “helpless” in tuition increases,” Baguisi said.
Today, leaders of the UPM community will engage the UPM administration to act urgently upon the manifesto signed by the students and UPM community that demands for the rescinding of anti-student policies.
In a facebook statement, UPM USC Chairperson-elect Mariz Zubiri vowed that March 19 will not end without the rescinding of the “no late payment” policy. Professors who attended the interfaith assembly yesterday, demanded the resignation of the proponents of the policy.
According to the organization, if the government fails to serve its mandate, there is nothing left to do but to declare that government a failure.
“We will not fail the youth in the same way that this government has failed them. We are resolute to wage steadfast and intensified struggles against neoliberal policies that legitimize commercialization and privatization of education. This is not only justice for Kristel but justice for the nation’s future. We cannot afford for the hope of the nation to lose all hope. Our hope is in our struggle, in our militant, collective action,” added Baguisi.
The desensitized Aquino government will feel the pain of every youth and student who are dragged by the chains of destitution and desperation with the massive protests that will happen nationwide. Tomorrow different sectors are ready to hold militant actions to hold Aquino accountable for his crimes to the Filipino people. “Bukas ipapataw kay Aquino ang hatol ng bayan!” ended Baguisi. ###
Mai Uichanco, Secretary General
(+63) 906 163 3611
Issa Baguisi, National Spokesperson:
(+63) 0949 761 1509