Young Filipinos on Sunday made the observance of Andres Bonifacio’s 151st birth anniversary their platform to demand the resignation of President Benigno Aquino 3rd over alleged issues of corruption and negligence of duty.
“The issues on presidential pork barrel, criminal negligence of victims of calamities, subservience to the interests of foreign powers and rising cost of education and other social services are just some of the numerous concerns that Filipinos are facing amid the economic and political crises of Philippine society today,” Marc Lino Abila, national president of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), said.
Ian Harvey Claros, CEGP executive vice president, noted “Aquino’s continuing disregard of democratic demands and aspirations of the people and his government’s blatant violation and defilement of people’s rights, especially of the indigenous peoples’ communities in the countryside.”
Abila said young Filipinos are also victims of the Aquino administration, citing “intensifying deregulation and commercialization of education.”
“By allowing schools, both private and state-owned, to increase and charge students and their parents school fees, the Aquino administration is taking away the right of citizens to quality and accessible education. Aside from the unabated increase in tuition, other school fees such as development fee, energy fee, air-conditioning fee, Internet fee, athletics fee and Physical Education fee, which are exorbitant and redundant, are added burden to parents and students, making it more difficult for underprivileged families to send their children to school,” he added.
“How can we contribute to nation-building if we lack the knowledge and skills? Educating the youth is important to a society but the government is the one disregarding the right of its people to affordable education,” Abila said.
Claros pointed to the President’s “continuing neglect of the rights of the people [as]enough reason for him to step down from office. The people don’t need an inefficient President like him who is deaf to the demands of the people but persistent in serving his foreign masters.”
The President, however, urged Filipinos to continue Bonifacio’s legacy.
In a message, Aquino said the revolutionary hero’s patriotism “ignited the passion within our countrymen to fight for liberty and demand dignity, freedom and sovereignty for the land of our ancestors.”
“Now, 151 years after his birth, our history and identity tested by the many challenges we have overcome, we unite as one nation to remember his sacrifice and desire to see us take charge of our destiny,” he added.
According to Aquino, the Philippines has become “a dynamic and progressive hub of business and commerce.”
The country, he said, will continue to thrive “as we fight to vanquish the culture of greed and corruption once rampant in our system as we renew our dedication to fostering integrity and accountability in our institutions.”
“We have created for ourselves the opportunity to fulfill the dreams that [Andres Bonifacio] envisioned for us. Together, let us forge a path to a more inclusive future,” the President added.