UP Visayas condemns threats vs. students in satirical cheer routine
MANILA, Philippines — The University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas has condemned threats and harassment of its students following a satirical cheer dance performance that tackled social and political issues that did not sit well with President Rodrigo Duterte’s supporters.
The performance of academic group Skimmers, which went viral over the weekend, clinched top honors in UP-Visayas’ Pahampang, the school’s annual sportsfest.
“The annual cheering competition in UP Visayas is one eagerly awaited event. This unique tradition has cheers and yells that contain satirical commentaries and forays on the current national and local issues, university policies and sometimes reproach to fellow academic groups, all in the spirit of fun, understanding, and camaraderie as it opens the sportsfest,” UP-Visayas said in a statement Sunday night.
“In UP Visayas, we encourage students to think critically and allow them to exercise their freedom of expression. We also assure them of protection while they are inside the campuses. We remind them to exercise prudent in their actions, thus, we denounce all forms of threats and harassment hurled against them,” it added.
Skimmers’ performance underscored issues such as press freedom, territorial issues, Rice Tariffication Law, removal of Filipino subject from the collegiate curriculum, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (Sogie) Equality and divorce bills.
The team also took a swipe at the President with one line of their performance stating: “Let’s kill the President. Charot!”
“Charot” is gay speak which means a joke.
But some of the President’s supporters did not take this lightly and accused the students of grave threats and inciting to sedition.
This prompted UP Visayas students and other netizens to trend “HandsOffSkimmers” via Twitter to air their support to the group. /gsg
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