Youth hold protest actions for education, livelihood, and sovereignty

This article is available in Pilipino

Youth and students from various universities and communities in Metro Manila launched a protest action on April 22 forwarding their calls for education, livelihood, and sovereignty. They planned to march towards Mendiola but the police stopped them at Morayta. Anakbayan youth and the League of Filipino Students (LFS) led the action.

The rallyists registered their opposition to the imminent increase in tuition and other fees in private universities and colleges in the country, following a proposal to the Commission on Higher Education to raise charges. They assert the Marcos regime must respond to the youth’s demand for free or affordable education.

They also denounced the state’s continuous repression of youth standing up for their democratic rights. Its repression on students’ academic freedom within universities and colleges is oppressive.

“Instead of addressing the youth’s grievances… [the regime] even prioritizes servility to foreign interests,” Kabataan Partylist said. They said this is apparent in allowing the entry of American troops into the country for war games and the railroading of charter change for large-scale selling of the Philippines to foreigners. They call for the scrapping of the regime’s chacha scheme.

The youth condemned the Balikatan Exercises 2024 being launched in the country by the US in collaboration with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The youth’s protest action was timed with the very day that the war exercises began.

“The call of the [youths] is to defend our national sovereignty but Marcos Jr did nothing but drag us to danger. He thought of nothing but how to obey his US master even at the cost of the Filipino people’s lives,” according to Elle Buntag, LFS national chairperson. She called on fellow youths to promote the call that against being dragged into a war that they have nothing to do with.

AB: Youth hold protest actions for education, livelihood, and sovereignty