STUDENTS and youth groups are organizing a “Day of Rage” on February 27 when they will stage campus walkout protests nationwide to call for “justice, accountability and change” over the Mamasapano bloodbath and to push for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino 3rd for “masterminding the US-directed offensive.”
Among the “Day of Rage” convenors are the National Union of Students of the Philippines, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, University of the Philippines System Student Regent, Polytechnic University of the Philippines System Student Council and Student Regent, student councils and groups from the University of Santo Tomas, University of the East, San Beda College and Philippine Normal University.
Also joining the protests are youth groups Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students, Student Christian Movement of the Philippines and Kabataang Artista Para sa Tunay na Kalayaan.
Meanwhile, professors from the University of the Philippines, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, De La Salle University and the Asian Institute of Management also called for the resignation of the President on Thursday.
UP Professor and National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera noted that the academe cannot teach the students not to lie if the President himself is the No. 1 liar.
“History taught us that Filipinos, in times like these, can act as one to replace a leader they no longer deserve. Let us unite with our people by joining in these concerted actions. Save our nation, Aquino resign!” Lumbera said.
In a unity statement released earlier, 101 student and youth groups declared “the nation can no longer entrust the reins of government to Aquino.”
“The Mamasapano clash is the result of a failure of leadership–of letting an inutile President stay in power even if he has long lost his moral ascendancy to lead the nation. Aquino has repeatedly shown his incompetence throughout his years in office–in the manner in which he bungled the relief and rehabilitation efforts for victims of Typhoon Yolanda, in the way he still blames the past administration for the rise in poverty and inequality in the country, and in the way he continually invokes ‘good faith’ for various corruption scandals particularly the Disbursement Acceleration Program, which the Supreme Court recently affirmed as unconstitutional,” the statement said.
According to Anakbayan national chairman Vencer Crisostomo, they are calling on the youth and the people to hold sustained mass demonstrations to expose the “US-Aquino cover-up, shame the current government into resigning and inspire genuine system change.”
Crisostomo said a “transition council” can replace Aquino to ensure meaningful reforms and prepare for elections.
“It is time we end the reign of impunity in our country. We have to make Aquino accountable for his crimes. Will we wait for more deaths before we act? How many more will die under this corrupt, puppet and anti-people leadership? It is time to act,” he added.
In Metro Manila, thousands of students and youth will walk out from their classes and march to Mendiola near Malacanang on February 27.
Groups are also calling for an assembly in Plaza Miranda in Manila’s Quiapo district at 4 p.m. on Friday (February 20). On February 25, groups are going to hold a human chain for truth along EDSA.