Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Student activists hold anti-Arroyo protest in Mindanao

Photos released by the College Editors Guild of the Philippines show students and activists during an anti-Arroyo rally on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 in Cotabato City in Mindanao.

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 25, 2009) – Student writers in the southern Philippines held a rally on Wednesday to protest government profiling of political activists and militarization in universities in Mindanao.

The rally, spearheaded by Mindanao chapters of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), was held in Cotabato City. It was attended by students from the CEGP chapters in Cotabato and Kidapawan cities; Midsayap and Kabacan towns in North Cotabato province and Maguindanao province.

The CEGP labeled Arroyo as “defector” of EDSA people power uprising for having approved and implemented various anti-people policies such as the calibrated preemptive response, EO 464 and Human Security Act among others that muzzled the rights of citizens to free expression.

EDSA people power refers to the civilian-led, military-backed revolution that toppled President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 and catapulted Benigno Aquino’s widow, Corazon Cojuanco, to the presidency.
“Student writers are one with the country’s journalists denouncing insecurity and disrespect to press freedom under GMA administration. Philippines has been listed as the second risky place for journalists in the world. Even in the campus level, campus press is continuously experiencing harassments from different perpetrators,” CEGP’s Michelle Tirol said in a statement.

Tirol also vehemently condemned the malicious “profiling” of National Intelligence Coordinating Agency to Bai Ali Indayla, former chief editor of the TORCH student publication in Cotabato City State Polytechnic College.

She said a government agent “collected” information about the student publication, including its literary folio and personal background of Indayla for a still unknown reason.

“The CEGP laments that despite the attacks to mainstream media and even to campus writers and leaders, Arroyo’s administration still has no political will to cease and resolve these problems. Nobody should be blame if one would be subjective that there is MalacaƄan consent on the attacks to press freedom,” Tirol said.
The group also counted the recent killing of broadcaster Ernie Rollin, of dxSY radio, in Oroquieta City in Misamis Oriental province.

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