Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Protect teachers, students from AFP’s hands, end Oplan Bantay Laya now !"-Palatino

Protect teachers, students from AFP’s hands,
end Oplan Bantay Laya now!-Palatino*

Schools are not safe anymore. This is not the usual “baril-barilan”.

Even teachers and students are not spared as the third case of extrajudicial killing under the Aquino administration was brought upon Mark Francisco, an elementary school teacher in San Isidro, Masbate and an Alliance of Concerned Teachers Partylist member last July 9.

“Is this the educational environment that Noynoy wants students to have? The administration itself has brought fear upon the people, especially the teachers and the students who find their schools as their second home. ‘Bang-bangs’ have reached the schools in ten days and this is not the usual pellet gun game that children play,” says Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond Palatino.

Francisco was gunned down in front of four other colleagues, one was even pregnant. After the killing, 16 schools suspended classes in Masbate, 11 from the south district and five from the northern district while teachers are demanding the local government unit of Palanas and the Philippine National Police to provide protection.

“It seems Noy is too much busy with ‘wang-wangs’ that he could not even hear the ‘bang-bangs’. What shameful record to have a teacher killed under an administration who said he will prioritize education. Such traumatic experience burdens teachers and students to continue going to school with no assurance that the place is even safe, we are talking about elementary students here,” explains Palatino.

“This marks another failure in the current administration to address extrajudicial killings seriously. After all, how could an elementary school teacher be an enemy of the state?” asks Palatino referring to the red-baiting of activists under the content of the Oplan Bantay Laya.

The youth solon added “Hundreds of students are affected by the cold-blooded felony committed by men in camouflage uniforms with faces covered with ski masks. Indeed, camouflaged men justify our long call that the Armed Forces of the Philippines are behind the butchery of activists in the country.”

“We urge Noynoy to protect the remaining places where students and teachers may reside harmoniously. We don’t see any reason why he, as the commander-in-chief, can’t immediately mandate his subordinates to end the extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, to end the Oplan Bantay Laya, to remove the red-baiting of leftists as enemies of the state and let the AFP own up to its sins to the people,” says Palatino.

“Trigger-happy men in camouflage uniforms are not what the students and teachers need. Remove these people from the bloody hands of the military,” he ends.

*Url: http://kabataanpartylist.com/blog/news-protect-teachers-students-from-afp%E2%80%99s-hands-end-oplan-bantay-laya-now-%E2%80%93-youth-solon/