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Fil-Am Youth against DepEd violence

August 24, 2010

The League of Filipino Students of San Francisco State University and Anakbayan chapters of Seattle, East Bay, Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey,and San Diego strongly condemn the violent dispersal, beatings and mass arrest of students and youth protesting at the Philippine Department of Education last Friday.  Over 50 youth and students, most of them high school aged members, were arrested and violently dispersed by the Philippine Department of Education security guards.  Five other high school protesters Ronald Santos, Mark Gil Gamido, Raymond Ubero, Ivan Bontorosto, and James Anajao, were also beaten by security guards and were submitted into Rizal Medical center for their injuries.

In it’s Vision and Mission Statement, the Philippine Department of Education states that  “We are a people organization committed to cultural excellence in public service.  Believing that the most important resource of a country is its people, we make the task of educating the Filipino child our single mission…We affirm the right of every Filipino child especially the disadvantaged to benefit from such a system.”

For an organization so committed to the rights and welfare of Filipino youth, it seems contradictory to their principles to beat and arrest youth who were protesting illegal school fees.

Police brutality and the suppression of free speech is not an example of excellent public service.  Rather, it is an example of a fascist and corrupt government that is more dedicated to silencing those who point out corruption and injustice instead of helping its most important resource- the Filipino people.

We demand for there to be a full investigation as to the unnecessary violence committed by the DepEd guards upon the youth causing them to be sent to the hospital.  We challenge the Department of Education to stay true to its Mission Statement making sure that education is accessible and affordable for every Filipino child! We hold the larger Philippine government responsible for the saddened state of education across the nation and strongly encourage the government to reflect on what the future holds for Filipino youth and students if education is not an option and violence is all that they are given.

EDUCATION FOR ALL!
END POLICE BRUTALITY & ALL HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS!
JUSTICE FOR RONALD, MARK, IVAN, RAYMOND & JAMES!

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