Students join protest, call for resignation of President Aquino
MANILA, Philippines—“Game over.”
This was the unified statement of thousands of students who held campus walkouts and marched to Mendiola in Manila to call for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino III.
The protest called “Day of Rage for Justice, Accountability and Change” was joined by students from University of the Philippines, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, University of the East, De La Salle University, University of Manila, Philippine Normal University, National Teachers College and Miriam College.
Students from other universities in the country also held protests in Baguio, Pampanga, Laguna, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro and Davao.
Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan national chairperson, said more than 100 youth and student organizations nationwide have called for protest actions and are gearing up for bigger protests.
Using a video game reference, the groups said it was “game over, Noynoy.”
“The youth and people want truth, justice, accountability and change. The movement for Aquino’s resignation is growing and the people’s call getting louder. We no longer want a government ruled by a corrupt, liar, US puppet, haciendero brat. Game over na, Noynoy. Time to step down,” Crisostomo said.
He said students would also stage a walkout against tuition and school fee hikes on Feb. 27.
“Noynoy’s deregulation and commercialization policies on education have burdened the youth and people with incessant tuition and other fee increases to favor big business interests in the privatized education system,” he said.
Crisostomo said the Senate hearings are a “whitewash and half-truth commission” dominated by allies of the Aquino administration.
“Aquino is obviously covering up the truth and lying to the people. The people are disgusted and outraged. They want truth, justice, accountability and genuine social change,” he said.
He said the protesters want a transition council to replace Aquino which will pave the way for justice and reforms, and prepare for free elections.
Meanwhile, Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said the people’s demand for genuine change is spreading across the country.
“The lying President must go along with the rotten social system. People Power should lead to something more beneficial than just a change of leadership and a return to the old ways,” Reyes said.
He said Aquino could not escape his accountability from the Mamasapano bloodbath.
“We will be awaiting the results of the probe of the board of inquiry next week. We however won’t be surprised if the report clears the President of any wrongdoing. That is already a given. Still, from what has been revealed so far, the President cannot escape accountability,” he added.
Various groups are also preparing for protest camps and vigils in the coming weeks. Another rally is set on March 8, International Women’s Day.
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