Aquino is a stoppable juggernaut

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines, the oldest, widest, and only-existing alliance of tertiary student publications in Asia-Pacific, expresses its abhorrence to President Benigno S. Aquino III for the numerous assaults of his administration on the rights of Filipinos days before the International Human Rights Day on December 10.

The Filipino people currently face a multitude of problems brought about by BS Aquino and his cohorts, furthering the hardships of the common Filipino. We are confronted by hikes on the prices of electricity and fuel, and fares of LRT/MRT and jeepney. These hikes continue considering that the wages of our workers and employees remain inadequate to their needs.

Murders of indigenous community leaders and activists in different parts of the country were also reported to human rights group Karapatan and are allegedly committed by the military.

Two radio anchors were murdered within a span of one week. First, Joas Dignos of dxGT Radyo Abante was murdered in Valencia City, Bukidnon on November 29. Second, Mike Milo of Prime FM 99.1 was murdered in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur on December 6, 2013. These recent attacks to the press nullify the claim of Malacañang that media killings are not serious.

The campus press is also a target of rights abuses. Former CEGP Vice-President for Mindanao Benjaline ‘Beng’ Hernandez’s murder remains unsolved despite the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution dated July 2010 for the Philippine government to hold M/Sgt. Antonio Torillo accountable. Under Oplan Bayanihan, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also continues to harass, intimidate, closely watch, and red-tag progressive student publications and student leaders across the archipelago, putting the lives of the youth in jeopardy.

CEGP is in solidarity with the victims of human rights violations for their call for justice. The Guild holds Aquino accountable to enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture, forced evacuation, and other grave abuses to the rights of the people.

These attacks to our rights and freedoms substantiate that BS Aquino is doing nothing to improve the situation and for the welfare of the Filipino people. Instead, Aquino continues to uphold the interests of his foreign and local business and political allies at the expense of the people. The campus press is outraged by these attacks and there is no reason for the Filipino youth and people to not struggle against these abuses and injustices.­

BS Aquino is comparable to a juggernaut, a merciless force that destroys everything in its path. The similarity ends there, however, as he is not unstoppable. For as long as the people are united, BS Aquino and his cohorts can be prevented from doing more damage. The only thing that can stop a juggernaut is a stronger force. And nothing is stronger than the people’s will. ###

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