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Protest against 2012 budget dispersed, ralliers to file charges, intensify protests

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Protest against 2012 budget dispersed, ralliers to file charges, intensify protests

“This PPP scheme for education and health will cost the taxpayers more because the government must guarantee the private sector partners’ return on investment.” – ACT Teachers Party Rep. Antonio Tinio

MANILA – Groups under Kilos na Laban sa Budget Cuts condemned the brutal dispersal of their rally on Thursday, Aug. 25 in front of the House of Representatives. The anti-budget cut groups said they will file charges with the Commission on Human Rights against the Quezon City Police District and the security office of the House of Representatives for the brutal dispersal of the rally on Aug. 26, Friday.

Kilos na Laban sa Budget Cuts is an alliance composed of various groups such as youth, students, teachers, health workers, migrants, and urban poor. According to Aki Merced, spokesman of League of Filipino students, 20 ralliers were seriously injured.

“We were in the middle of our program in front of the House of Representatives when the police from QC station 10 and security units of the HOR assaulted us. Of course the people got angry— they were hitting us with metal rods and blasting us with water from a fire truck,” Merced said.

The protesters were brutally dispersed by the police and security forces of the House Representatives. Kilos na Laban sa Budget cuts are set to file charges with the Commission on Human Rights against the Quezon City Police District and the Security Office of the HOR.
(Photo by UP Kilos Na / Bulatlat.com)
The groups said they were peacefully holding a program when, without warning, the police stationed at the Congress main gate started hitting the protesters with their shields and truncheons. After that the police trained their water canon on some 300 protesters.

“In fact, majority of the protesters were caught unaware as they were still sitting on the road, some on the sidewalks, and listening to the program, when the dispersal began,” the alliance said in a statement.

The Kilos na Laban sa Budget Cuts had described Aug. 25 as the national day of action against budget cuts on education and social services. The groups are calling on the lawmakers to reject the proposed 2012 national budget because it contains both cuts and insufficient allocations for basic social services.

“After last year’s P1 billion ($23 million) budget cut for 97 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), 50 SUCs will face a P500 million ($11 million) slash for 2012. Funding for basic education, health, housing, and OFW services are all severely insufficient,” the alliance said. ??On the other hand, the proposed budget contains huge funds for the presidential pork barrel, or the intelligence funds of the Office of the President, from P65 billion ($1.547 billion) to P161 billion (3.833 billion).

Aug. 25 was also the scheduled budget hearing of the Office of the President and the Department of Education (DepEd). Progressive legislators of the Makabayan coalition also joined the protest calling for higher budget allocation for social services like education and health.

“Aquino the budget-slasher” 

Kilos na Laban sa Budget Cut described the 2012 national budget as anti-people and branded President Benigno Aquino III as the ‘budget-slasher’.

“Aquino is blatantly abandoning the people. Budget allocations for education, health and other social services suffered hefty cuts and remained lacking while debt servicing, military, dole-out programs like the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), the President’s unprogrammed funds and legislators’ pork barrel budgets are being increased. This plus last year’s budget allocation is a very clear indicator of Aquino’s priorities,” said Merced..... MORE

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/08/26/protest-against-2012-budget-dispersed-ralliers-to-file-charges-intensify-protests/


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