Students reiterate call for justice for Kristel Tejada

This article is available in Pilipino

Students of the University of the Philippines (UP)-Manila marched from its campus to the Philippine General Hospital Oblation Plaza as part of their call for justice for Kristel Tejada on her 11th death anniversary yesterday, March 15. Various groups gave speeches in protest and lit candles at the end of the program.

Tejada is a former student of UP Manila who committed suicide in 2013 when non-payment of tuition forced her to stop studying.

“Eleven years ago we lost Kristel Tejada after the neoliberal educational system in our country took her life,” said the UP Manila College of Arts and Sciences Student Council. Tejada was a student in their college enrolled in BS Behavioral Science course.

“She entered UP Manila full of dreams but failed to achieve it due to difficulties in paying the tuition,” added the council. The council says the UP Manila administration abandoned her and imposed on her the burden of high UP tuition fees under its Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP).

More than a decade on, “many people like Kristel are still being denied democratic rights,” Kabataan Partylist-National Capital Region said. It is a big challenge for young people to continue the struggle until every youth can study and have a good future, it said.

The youth are united in fighting the colonial, commercialized, and anti-democratic educational system. In this regard, they also condemned the US-Marcos regime’s railroading of charter change which they said will further intensify commercialized education.

Students and organizations also launched various activities in other UP campuses across the country. A candle lighting protest was held in UP Los Baños and UP Cebu, while an installation art was set up in UP Diliman and UP Mindanao.

AB: Students reiterate call for justice for Kristel Tejada