Thousands of students walk out to call for Aquino's resignation
MANILA, Philippines – Thousands of students from schools and universities across the country walked out of their classes Friday, February 27, calling for President Benigno Aquino III’s resignation.
The simultaneous protest actions which happened in Metro Manila and in key cities across the country were held to show outrage over Aquino’s alleged attempt to cover up his involvement in the Mamasapano operation, and the new round of tuition fee increases, among others.
In Metro Manila, more than 500 students from the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman led the opening protests with class walkouts. They held a program in front of the historic Palma Hall before proceeding to Mendiola, where thousands of protesters are expected to converge.
Other students from state universities like UP Manila, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), and the Philippine Normal University (PNU) also staged walkouts, snake rallies, and flash dances.
Students from private universities also joined the protests. Noise barrages and walkouts were held in the University of Sto Tomas (UST), De La Salle University-Manila, University of the East, University of Manila, National University, Miriam College, and the National Teacher’s College.
“Today, we march out of our classrooms to protest against a shameful presidency that even has the gall to talk about peace, even as it orchestrates a massive cover-up to escape accountability from the Mamasapano operation," UP student leader and Youth Act Now spokesman Mico Pangalangan said in a statement.
The nationwide protests were led by youth groups National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), Anakbayan, and the League of Filipino Students (LFS).
LFS spokesperson Charisse Bañez said the Filipino youth have had enough of the “oppression, injustice, and impunity” under Aquino’s regime.
“Aquino’s long list of atrocities compels the Filipino people to fight for change and intensify the clamor for his resignation. Soon, millions of Filipinos will take the streets and write another page in history by ousting Aquino,” she added.
After walking out of their classes, the students marched to Mendiola Bridge joining other sectoral groups calling for Aquino’s resignation.
The students are also protesting against the impending tuition increases and other issues.
“He (Aquino) has imposed yearly increases in tuition and other fees in universities, robbed public funds through the Disbursement Acceleration Program, left typhoon victims dying in hunger, and sponsored massive land-grabbing,” Bañez added.
Students earlier brought their opposition to the proposed tuition and other fees increase to social media. (READ: #AyokoMagmahal: College students oppose tuition hike)
The groups warned Malacañang that more camp-out protests and vigils are set to happen in the coming weeks. – Rappler.com