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Students denounce P50-M SEA Games cauldron

Progressive students from the University joined the Nationwide Protest to denounce current state policies and programs particularly the funds allotted for the SEA Games Thursday, Nov. 21.

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Photo by Jacqueline Martinez/TomasinoWeb

Progressive students from the University joined the Nationwide Protest to denounce current state policies and programs particularly the funds allotted for the SEA Games Thursday, Nov. 21.

In an ambush interview with TomasinoWeb, Michael Jusayan of League of Filipino Students-UST expressed his anger and dismay over the 50-million SEA Games’ cauldron.

“Ang dami-daming puwedeng paglagyan o paglagakan nung 50-million na ‘yun ‘di ba. Maliban pa dun sa sobra-sobra ‘yung 50-million para doon lamang sa iisang kalderong ginto na ‘yon,” said Jusayan.

He asserted that if the government can allot millions of fund such events, then it should also be able to respond to the basic needs of the Filipinos.

“Kung kayang maglagak ng 50-milyong piso ng gobyerno para sa SEA Games, yung mamamayang Pilipino araw-araw silang nagugutom, araw-araw walang laman ‘yung kaldero nila,” he said.

“‘Yung mga magsasaka nanghihingi ng subsidiya sa gobyerno pero ano ‘yung binibigay? Wala! ‘Yung mga manggagawa nanghihingi ng tulong para itaas man lamang ‘yung kanilang sahod, wakasan ‘yung kontraktwalisasyon, pero ano ‘yung ginagawa ng gobyerno natin. Wala!,” Jusayan said.

Jusayan also remarked that the government should also be able to allot the same amount of funds for the basic services and the rights of the people like health and education. 

“Kayang-kaya maglagak ng gobyerno natin 50-milyong piso para sa kaldero na ‘yon pero ‘yung hinanaing ng mga mamamayang Pilipino, ‘yung puwedeng ilagak para [sa edukasyon, sa pangkalusugan]. Bakit hindi niya kayang maglabas ng ganoong kalaking halaga para sa welfare ng mga mamamayan natin?” Jusayan added.

Meanwhile, Naomi Alariao of Anakbayan-UST also shared the same sentiments with the 50-million cauldron, noting that the kaldero of the Filipino people is still unfilled.

“‘Yung kaldero ng sambayanang ginugutom ay walang laman. Alamin natin, tandaan natin na ang kalderong walang laman ang pinaka-makingay kapag iyan ang kinalampang,” said Alariao.

Senate Committee Report No. 10

Alariao also expressed her disappointment over the government’s failure to respond to the current “crisis” besetting the country.

“Nakikita naman natin na mas umiigting yung krisis sa ating lipunan, sa lupa, sa tubig, sa transportasyon, sa agrikultura, pati yung laban nung mga manggagawa sa sahod ay mayroon pa rin ngayong kontraktwalisasyon. Sobra na, sukdulan na ang pinaggagagawa ng gobyernong ito,” said Alariao.

Jusayan shared the same sentiment, noting the crisis faced by farmers as well as students: “Nandyan yung Rice Liberalization Law tsaka yung patuloy na pangangamkam ng lupa. Sa hanay nating mga kabataan ‘di ba, nananatiling pribilehiyo yung edukasyon imbis na karapatan.”

He also expressed his concern over Senate Committee Report No. 10 which aims to respond to the alleged recruitment of leftist groups in schools and universities.

“Sa kasalukuyan, may Senate committee report na sinusubukang i-apruba nila [Senator] Bato Dela Rosa na kung saan gusto nilang papasukin yung mga militar at kapulisan sa mga pamantasan, tiktikan yung ating mga guro. Isa itong paglabag dun sa akademikong karapatan natin dito sa loob ng pamantasan,” he asserted.

“Nanganganib yung mga guro natin at nanganganib mismo tayong mga kabataang estudyante na ang pagtingin ng estado sa mga kritikong katulad natin, yung mga nagcr-criticize sa [kanila] ay mga NPA, terorista,” he said.

For Jusayan, the government responds to the crisis and problems plaguing the country through police and military resistance and intimidation.

“‘Yung konsepto yata ng kapayapaan ni Pangulong Duterte ay pagtahimik, pagpapatahimik dun sa mga mamamayan, pagtetengang-kawali, yung pagsasawalang-bahala dun sa mga tunay na hinanaing ng mga mamamayan. […] Panunupil, pang-iintimidate ng kapulisan, ng militar,” Jusayan expressed.

Alariao aired the same sentiments, “Sa lahat ng lumalaban, pati pa yung mga aktibista, dinadakip yung lahat ng mga progresibo, patuloy yung pag-aatake sa kanila. So pilit nilang pinapatahimik dahil mas lalong nag-iingay ang sambayanan.”

Alariao and Jusayan also urged students to show their disapproval of the said policies.

“Sa ngayon, kailangan nating magkaisa bilang isang sektor at tutulan yung mga ganoong maniobra na tatapak doon sa akademikong kalayaan natin at doon sa mga karapatan natin bilang mga mamamayang Pilipino,” said Jusayan.

“Sa kasaysayan naman natin naputanayan na natin na ang kabataan na palaging nangunguna sa tarangkahan kasama ang mga masang api. […] At ito rin ang panawagan natin sa lahat ng mga estudyante na ipatuloy ang pag-iingay,” Alariao expressed.

The Nationwide Protest was held at UST Gate 2, FEU-Morayta, and then in Mendiola in Manila, and in other parts of the country as well.

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‘Duterte regime falls deaf to people’s cries’ –CSC, LSCs

Central Student Council (CSC), along with the Local Student Councils (LSC), denounced President Duterte’s lack of COVID-19 response roadmap in his fifth and penultimate State of the Nation Address yesterday, July 27. 

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Carmina Beatriz Dizon/TomasinoWeb

Central Student Council (CSC), along with the Local Student Councils (LSC), denounced President Duterte’s lack of COVID-19 response roadmap in his fifth and penultimate State of the Nation Address yesterday, July 27. 

“As we reflect upon the state of our nation, so stands our responsibility to address incompetence, the lack of national response from the administration in implementing the need for mass testing and systematic protocols in containing the virus, and its blatant value for militarization over medical solutions,” CSC’s said in a unity statement released yesterday. 

The councils demanded accountability from public officials such as Senator Kiko Pimentel, NCRPO chief Debold Sinas, and Malacañang spokesperson Harry Roque. 

They also called on lawmakers who created “rushed laws that impede fundamental humans rights and freedom of speech.”

‘This is not how democracy works’ 

As Thomasians, the council expressed that they “could no longer sit idly” and watch the government compromise and abuse the country’s freedom. 

“As President Duterte falls deaf towards the cries of his people, his self-serving and personal interests prevail,” CSC said. 

According to them, this is not how democracy works. 

“[I]t is our utmost responsibility that we use our voice to speak for the silenced and oppressed,” the council said. 

“[W]e will embody the resistance and furbish our strength until it extends to the majority of our fellow Filipinos, the true cradle of our sovereignty,” the council added. Paolo Alejandrino 

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Youth groups, student leaders file 14th plea vs anti-terror law

The University’s Central Student Council (CSC), along with different youth groups and student leaders, filed a petition that questions the unconstitutionality of the Anti-Terror Law (ATL) before the Supreme Court yesterday, July 23. 

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Carmina Beatriz Dizon/TomasinoWeb

The University’s Central Student Council (CSC), along with different youth groups and student leaders, filed a petition that questions the unconstitutionality of the Anti-Terror Law (ATL) before the Supreme Court yesterday, July 23. 

“Members of these organizations continue to experience red-tagging, harassment, and intimidation from security forces for actively engaging in protests and different forms of advocacy work and for speaking out on the current administration’s policies,” their statement read.

The petition was filed by Atty. Dino de Leon on behalf of 16 youth organizations “to protect their members and their fellow youth from the dangerous provisions of the Act.” 

CSC, which was represented by Arts and Letters student Therese Ifurung, was joined by De La Salle University Student Government, Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila, University of the Philippines – Diliman University Student Council, National Union of Students of the Philippines, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines.

Other youth-led and youth-serving organization co-petitioners were Kabataang Tagapagtanggol ng Karapatan, Youth for Human Rights and Democracy, Youth Act Now Against Tyranny, Millennials PH, Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan, Good Gov PH, Youth Strike 4 Climate Change Philippines, Liberal Youth of the Philippines, Aksyon Kabataan, La Salle Debate Society.

Earlier petitions were filed by a coalition of university law professors, human rights groups, labor unions, partylist blocs, constitutional framers Christian Monsod and Felicitas Arroyo, and retired justices Antonio Carpio and Conchita Carpio-Morales. 

Another petition is expected to be filed yesterday from the Bangsamoro sector, which is set to bring the total number of petitions to 15.

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Take part in SONA protest, student council presidents urge

University of Santo Tomas student leaders, along with different national organizations, urged the youth to participate in the nationwide protest for the incoming fifth State of the Nation Address of President Duterte on July 27.

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Screengrab from SONAgKAISAng Kabataan sa Paglaban press conference

University of Santo Tomas student leaders, along with different national organizations, urged the youth to participate in the nationwide protest for the incoming fifth State of the Nation Address of President Duterte on July 27. 

“It is imperative that we take a stand on the different social issues that our country is currently facing,” Artlets Student Council acting president Paolo Jericho Manuel said during a webinar today, June 20.

Manuel said that democracy, development, and justice are compromised right now due to the government’s incompetence and misplaced priorities, citing the 11,000 ABS-CBN workers who lost their jobs and the signing of the “vague” Anti-Terrorism Act into law. 

Manuel stressed that there is an urgent need for government action in addressing the problem with the accessibility of education.

Department of Education records showed that six million students from last year failed to enroll for the incoming academic year 2020-2021. 

‘Evil move’ 

Central Student Council president Robert Dominic Gonzales called on the youth to stay vigilant in this time of injustices. 

Gonzales said that the passing of the Anti-Terrorism Law is an “evil move” by the government to silence its critics. 

“We will still be haunted by the horrors that this administration has caused,” he said. 

Gonzales also lauded the sacrifice of the frontliners during the COVID-19 pandemic and encouraged the public to protect and support them. 

The webinar, “SONAgKAISAng Kabataan sa Paglaban,” was organized by the Youth Act Now Against Tyranny (YANAT). Raheema Velasco 

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