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Treatment of Noynoy’s student hecklers an ‘exception’; violence towards protesters still the norm – Anakbayan

October 7, 2010

Youth group Anakbayan criticized the Aquino administration for saying the non-mauling of student protesters inside Noynoy’s 1st 100 days report made the current government ‘more humane’.

“The incident actually highlights the elitism of the Aquino administration. The students were spared because they were well-dressed and came from a respectable university. But when faced with the urban and rural poor, police brutality is the only response from Noynoy” said Anakbayan spokesperson Charisse Bañez.

Four students of the University of the Philippines Manila shouted slogans in the middle of President Noynoy Aquino’s ‘Town Hall’-styled report on his 1st 100 days in power. They condemned massive budget cuts to education, especially the funding of State Colleges and Universities (SCUs) as well as the student financial assistance fund of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

The four are: Ces Santos, chairperson of the UP Manila Student Council and a member of the National Union of Students in the Philippines (NUSP); Mark Panganiban and Christine Bangug, vice-chairperson and college representative, respectively, of the same council; and Tessa Trazona of the UP Manila chapter of Anakbayan.

“Only the possibility of an international embarrassment on live TV prevented the Aquino goon squad from violating the human rights of the ‘UP Manila 4’” said the youth leader.

Protesting farmers under the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) were violently by elements of the Phil. National Police (PNP) for two days straight last Oct. 6 & 7 when they attempted to hold overnight vigils at the foot of Mendiola Bridge near the Presidential Palace. KMP members also hold the distinction of being the first to experience police brutality under the Aquino administration when their makeshift camp in Mendiola Bridge was attacked by the PNP last July 3.

The Anakbayan spokesperson also noted Noynoy’s refusal to rescind the military policy ‘Oplan Bantay Laya’ which has been blamed for the more than 1,200 extra-judicial killings under the previous administration, as well as the 16 assassinations of activists in Aquino’s 1st 100 days in power.

“Noynoy is treading the same path as the much-hated Gloria Arroyo: that of a ‘daang malupit’” she quipped.

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