PUP students ‘walk out’ of classes, demand Arroyo’s ouster
Walkout a ‘dry-run’ for nationwide class boycotts for July
Some 3,000 students from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) walked out of their classes today calling on Mrs. Gloria Arroyo to step down.
The students announced that today’s protest is a ‘dry-run’ for nationwide ‘walkouts’ in the coming weeks, in preparation for the upcoming State of the Nation Address.
Anakbayan national chairperson Ken Ramos described the protest as a “testament of the youth’s disgust in the Arroyo administration for continuously burdening the people with price hikes and stagnant wages.”
Ramos said, “PUP students have proven time and again the power of collective action as means to attain their just and democratic demands.”
Last week, the PUP administration was forced to refund the illegally collected P250 developmental fee to students after almost 2,000 student rallyists marched from the PUP campus to the Commission on Higher Education main office in Pasig.
In 2007, some 7,000 PUP students also prevented the PUP Board of Regents from approving a proposed 500 percent tuition fee increase. PUP’s tuition at P12 per unit remains the cheapest among state colleges and universities to this day.
Ramos, however, warned that such victories would be ’empty and but temporary for as long as the educational and economic policies set by the Arroyo administration remain in place.’
“In the end, we must work for the repeal of these burdensome policies and demand accountability from the mastermind, Mrs. Arroyo, herself. This can only be achieved through her immediate ouster from office.”
According to Ramos, the PUP walk out is only the start of similar protest actions geared up in other schools nationwide.
Anakbayan, together with other member organizations of YOUTH ACT NOW! (Youth for Accountability and Truth Now!), will spearhead nationwide walkouts on July 10 and July 18. ###