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Legarda joins PUP Students’ call against Roxas “Political Opportunism”

April 6, 2010

NP-NPC-LDP VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE LOREN LEGARDA JOINED THE POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES (PUP) COMMUNITY LED BY ITS STUDENT REGENT DONNA PASCUAL IN CRITICIZING MAR ROXAS FOR CLAIMING THE CREDIT FOR THE PUP BOARD OF REGENTS’ DECISION TO REJECT THE TUITION FEE HIKE.
Last month, the PUP Board of Regents rejected the school administration’s proposed 17-fold increase in tuition and miscellaneous fee rates from P12 to P200 per unit.
In a press release, Roxas claimed it was through his motion that the decision was reached. (See http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2010/0330_roxas1.asp)
Student regent Pascual issued a strong statement opposing Roxas’ claim: “The motion signed and approved by the PUP Board of Regents was clearly a product of series of dialogues held between the students, CHED and the PUP administration. It was not through the messianic efforts of any one personality. It was not through any “intervention” that was not even a direct result of student protests and actions.”
She added, “political opportunists choose to disregard the significance of students’ assertion and collective action and opt instead to claim credit for themselves. This is understandable considering the traditional politicking and grandstanding during election season, but we take offense in the blatant entitling of responsibility for our victory while ironically ostracizing the very actions that had led to our success in the first place. It becomes furthermore insulting when no statement or any gesture of support has been heard from their end in the duration of the fight.”
Kabataan Partylist led by Raymond Palatino also joined PUP’s appeal to candidates “not to fabricate heroics at the expense of students. We would rather that they join and support students instead in the fight for the right to education.”
Please see PUP Student Regent Donna Pascual’s statement below:
Students have rightful claim to victory over tuition hike
Donna Pascual, Student Regent, Polytechnic University of the Philippines
The Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) community congratulates our Iskolars ng Bayan for successfully stopping the proposed 1,700 percent tuition hike in the university. We have proven once again that only through unity, militancy and collective action can we triumph over attempts to strip us of our right to education and academic freedom.
That PUP President Dante Guevarra, along with Commission on Higher Education Chairman Emmanuel Angeles, relented to our call and themselves bewailed the yearly budget cuts for state colleges and universities are testimony of the justness and validity of our actions. These were concrete results of our having asserted our voices and displayed militancy in our actions and not mere goodwill or forgiveness on their parts. This would hopefully open the doors to more democratic consultations and processes with them in the future.
We also appreciate the support and assistance of some personages and politicians who have expressed solidarity with the students, especially in the call to release the PUP 5, namely Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino, Makabayan senatorial candidates Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza, Nacionalista Party senatorial candidate Adel Tamano and presidential bet and PUP alumnus Bro. Eddie Villanueva. They were with us during and after our fight and continue to advocate higher budget for education in their respective platforms. They recognize the need for genuine reforms in the education sector and acknowledge the role of collective action of youth and students in confronting the education crisis. We share our victory with them.
Unfortunately, some political opportunists choose to disregard the significance of students’ assertion and collective action and opt instead to claim credit for themselves.
This is understandable considering the traditional politicking and grandstanding during election season, but we take offense in the blatant entitling of responsibility for our victory while ironically ostracizing the very actions that had led to our success in the first place. It becomes furthermore insulting when no statement or any gesture of support has been heard from their end in the duration of the fight.
The motion signed and approved by the PUP Board of Regents was clearly a product of series of dialogues held between the students, CHED and the PUP administration.
It was not through the messianic efforts of any one personality. It was not through any “intervention” that was not even a direct result of student protests and actions.
We appeal to self-serving entities, in the spirit of the Lenten season, please do not fabricate heroics at the expense of students. We would rather that they join and support students instead in the fight for the right to education.
Lastly, we also express our gratitude to other Iskolars ng Bayan, students and supporters who have marched with us in solidarity. We have successfully elevated the debate of low state spending for education and unjust tuition hikes to a national issue that needs to be addressed by our future leaders, especially this election season. This is our opportunity to bring to the core issues that have plagued the education sector through the years. Truly, there are no colors or borders in the fight for accessible education and for students’ democratic rights.
Mabuhay ang mga Iskolar ng Bayan na lumalaban!