March 15 2012
More than a hundred student councils and publications, campus and youth organizations, and community-based groups will join today’s nationwide ‘Protestang Bayan’ (or People’s Protest) against the overpricing of petroleum products both in local and international markets.
Led by the youth group Anakbayan, the organizations under the KKK, or Kilos Na Kontra Kartel at Overpricing sa Langis, are also up in arms against the continued inaction of President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III regarding the host of proposals meant to curb the weekly oil price hikes so far in 2012.
“For the nth time, we remind the Aquino administration that there are dozens of bills gathering dust in the House of Representatives which aim to address the problem of oil price hikes: from removing the Value Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products, to repealing the Oil Deregulation Law, to nationalizing our oil and energy industry. Now Noynoy cannot ‘deny lang’ and say ‘I was not informed’” said Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan.
Students from the University of the Philippines Diliman and Manila, as well as the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, will hold ‘lunch-time protests’ within their campuses. They will afterwards join workers, teachers, and government employees in several designated ‘protest centers’: Philcoa in Quezon City; Stop and Shop, Sta. Mesa, and Anda Circle, Taft Avenue, in Manila.
While the MMDA has said it will arrest protesters who will ‘plank’ on roads today, youth protesters will introduce a new form of protest: ‘Noynoying’. A parody of President Noynoy Aquino’s inaction in regards to oil overpricing, students will instead sit down in the middle of certain major roads in Metro Manila while adopting the president’s trademark vacant stare.
Meanwhile, Anakbayan dismissed Palace claims that removing the Value Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products, one of the proposals to provide immediate relief to consumers, will affect social services.
“Even with the VAT, the Aquino administration has repeatedly slashed the budget of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), health care, and other social services” said Crisostomo.
In the past two years, Anakbayan and other youth and student groups have launched ‘campus strikes’ and massive rallies against budget cuts to SUCs and other social services yearly under Aquino’s first two years.
“It is disgusting to hear the Aquino administration claim concern over the state of social services when their attitude several months ago was ‘let the budget cuts be'” said the youth leader.
Anakbayan national chairman
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