‘Katarungan para sa Iskolar ng Bayan’
UP Manila students and faculty, youth groups call for week-long Black Protest for Justice

UP students, faculty and administrators nationwide together with various youth groups will hold a “Week of Mourning and Protest” this coming week to call for justice for the death of a UP Manila student over inability to pay tuition debts.

“Starting on Monday, we call on all students to cover the Oblation statues in all UP campuses with black cloth. This is a call to stand up and strike for education and justice,” said Mariz Zubiri, UP Manila student council chairperson.

Zubiri called for big candle-lighting and solidarity assemblies nationwide everyday starting Monday, not only in UP campuses but all schools nationwide.

“The death of an iskolar ng bayan is the death of all iskolars ng bayan. The death of a pag-asa ng bayan, is the death of all young Filipinos,” she said.

In UP Diliman, various youth groups are calling for a campus strike on March 19-20 in solidarity with the protests. UP Kilos Na, an alliance of various groups including professors and campus officials, is calling for a week-long “Luksang Pamantasan.”

Other schools are also gearing for solidarity protests. According to Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) student regent Helen Alfonso, students groups are also preparing for protests in PUP, which have recently approved fee hikes for next year.

“We fear that if tuition and other fees increase in PUP, we will face the same fate as the UP Iskolar ng Bayan. We must protest the fee hikes,” she said.

In a unity statement, groups under Kilos Na para sa Edukasyon, Karapatan at Katarungan demanded the following:

1) That UP should immediately junk the forced LOA and no late payment policy and hold accountable administration officials responsible for the implementation of such policy;

2) That UP scrap flawed “Socialized” Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP) and rollback UP tuition rates;

3) That the Aquino administration through the Commission on Higher Education, impose a moratorium on all tuition and miscellaneous fee hikes planned for next school year, both for public and private schools;

4) That the Aquino administration junk the policy of commercialization and ensure accessible and quality education at all levels and provide sufficient budget allocation for all state schools;

5) That the Aquino government address the problems of low-wages, high prices and deepening poverty;

“We turn our grief into courage. We must make sure this does not happen again. We must stand up in solidarity for justice, for the right to education, for the future of our nation. Katarungan para sa iskolar, katarungan para sa bayan,” they said.


One Response to UP Manila students and faculty, youth groups call for week-long Black Protest for Justice

  1. Estella says:

    Great site here. Many websites like this cover subjects that can7&821#;t be found in print. I don’t know how we got by 12 years ago with just newspapers and magazines.

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