No Classes Under A Marcos Presidency: Why Students Are Staging A Walkout

They’re not just skipping school, they’re fighting for their future.

Many mass and sectoral organizations are against the possibility of a Marcos presidency, so they camped out at Liwasang Bonifacio on May 10. Their goal was to protest the alleged fraud in this year’s national elections.

The League of Filipino Students backs the campout. They held a candlelight vigil in front of the University of the Philippines Manila campus on May 11. Then, along with other student organizations, they marched down Taft Avenue.

Photo by Aram Lascano

UP Manila Student Council Chairperson Querobin Acsibar talked to FreebieMNL about the elections.

Nung May 9, halos lumagpas sa 200 vote-counting machines yung defective. Ano’ng nangyare? Yung mga botante, yung mga nakapila, talagang nabinbin sila. Pinaghintay sila ng ilang oras. Tapos yung iba binigyan ng waiver na katunayan na hindi papasok sa VCM yung balota nila. Hindi natin alam kung yung boto ba nila ay napunta sa tamang tao. Ang daling i-manipula ng mga balota. Lalo na’t ‘di dumaan sa machine,” Acsibar says.

READ Various Activists Troop To Liwasang Bonifacio To Protest Alleged Election Fraud

(“On May 9, almost 200 vote-counting machines were defective. What happened? The voters, those who stood in line, were unable to vote. They were made to wait for hours. Some were given a waiver, which is proof that their ballots weren’t entered into the VCMs. We don’t know if their votes went to the right person. It would’ve been so easy to manipulate the ballots. Especially since they didn’t make it into the machines.”)

No to a Marcos presidency

As a youth leader, Acsibar doesn’t want to see the Dutertes and the Marcoses return to power.

Bilang estudyante, kabataan, at lider, matagal na tayong tumututol sa pagbabalik nila. Ilang taon na tayong pinahirapan. Ilang taon na tayong ninakawan ng karapatan. Hanggang ngayon ba hahayaan nating makabalik sa Malacañang ang isang Marcos?” she asked.

(“As a student and youth leader, we’ve been trying to prevent their return to power for a while. They’ve made things difficult for us. They’ve stolen our rights. Are we going to let a Marcos return to  Malacañang?”)

Photo by Aram Lascano

Acisibar says University of the Philippines student councils campaigned for continuous walkouts. Other tertiary institutions are amplifying their voices to show support. That means Acsibar and her colleagues will be able to reach as many people as possible. They will keep doing this as long as Bongbong Marcos stays in power as president of the Philippines.

“Patuloy yung paglabas natin sa mga paaralan. Why? Bakit ba tayo nasa Liwasang Bonifacio? Bakit tayo nagmartsa papuntang COMELEC office? Iisa naman ang pinatutunguhan.”

(“We continue to leave school. Why are we in Bonifacio Square? Why did we march to the COMELEC office? Our goal is the same.”)

Featured Image Daniella Sison

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