CPP denounces Aquino for washing hands over death of UP student

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
March 21, 2013

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today denounced the Aquino regime for washing its hands of "ultimate responsibility" for the suicide of a UP student by covering up its policy of abandoning public tertiary education and claiming to have increased budgetary allocations to education last year.

"In the final analysis, it is Aquino's policy of the state abandonment of public tertiary education that is driving hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of students to despair," said the CPP in reaction to a statement by MalacaƱang the other day that the suicide of UP Manila student Kristel Tejada is an "internal concern" of the University of the Philippines.

Tejada, a 16-year old freshman student of UP, took her life last March 15 after she was forced to go on leave of absence for having failed to settle her debts with the university. Her father, a part-time taxi driver, had repeatedly appealed to university officials for a little more time to settle their accounts and allow his daughter to continue with her studies.

Aquino's spokesman insisted that the present government "continues to strive for a greater budget for education" and that the budget for state universities and colleges went up last year.

"The Aquino regime is lying through its teeth in claiming to be supportive of public education," said the CPP. Aquino, himself, in his message to congressional hearings on the budget in 2011 declared that "we are gradually reducing the subsidy to SUCs to push them toward becoming self-sufficient and financially independent."

The CPP pointed out that Aquino's P5 billion allocation for UP in 2012 is way below the estimated P18 billion required to run and develop the University. The P700 million allocated to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines is less than 40% of its budgetary needs.

"Overall, the Aquino regime is subsidizing only 67% of the total budget of SUCs, lower than all previous regimes, forcing these SUCs to come up with one financial scheme after another to generate income," pointed out the CPP. "It is this Aquino policy of abandoning public tertiary education that is forcing SUCs to pass on the financial burden to the students."