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Anakbayan slams Noynoy for ‘warmongering’ in Korea instead of addressing local education ills

November 29, 2010

“Is this why there are budget cuts for education and other social services? So we can send our troops to interfere in other nations’ sovereignty?”

This was the heated question of Charisse Bañez, spokesperson of youth group Anakbayan, regarding the announcement that the Philippines will send troops to the Korean Peninsula in the face of growing tensions between North and South Korea.

“Why act like some sort of pulis pangkalawakan (galactic policeman) if you can’t even take care of your own backyard?” she said, referring to anti-budget cut campus strikes last week which paralyzed operations in several major State Universities & Colleges (SUCs) like the University of the Philippines, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Phil. Normal University, Rizal Tech. University, & EARIST.

According to the youth leader, while State Universities and Colleges will see its maintenance and operating budget slashed by P1.1 billion next year, the Dept. of National Defense will have its funding increased from P96.2 billion to P104.7 billion. Other social services which will have funding cuts are: Health services, from P40 billion to P38.6 billion, the Nat’l Food Authority’s ‘NFA rice’ subsidy from P15 billion to P8 billion, and the Dept. of Transportation & Communications’ MRT & LRT subsidies by P2 billion.

Bañez added “Instead of doing a George Bush by warmongering in Korea, Noynoy should just focus on delivering basic social services to all Filipinos”.

“Instead of budget cuts to social services and more funding for the military, it should be the other way around” she suggested.

Meanwhile, the youth leader called for a review of the country’s military agreements with the United States, saying the possibility that the Philippines will be drawn into a war ‘it has nothing do with’ shows that the said agreements do more harm than good to our country.

“This war has nothing do with us, so why should we be involved in it?” said Bañez.

According to Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the U.S, the former is obliged to send troops in the Korean Peninsula should ‘hostilities’ break out between the North and the South.

“In the first place, hasn’t the U.S been the one who provoked the North by holding countless ‘military exercises’ near the border, as well as slapping economic sanction after economic sanction on them?” said the youth leader.

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