Inside out

Random musings in and outside the news

Political graffiti greet UP hopefuls

Posted by Abi Kwok on August 2, 2008

Here’s my first story on a weekend. I know more will come and I’m bracing myself as early as now 🙂


By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 13:55:00 08/02/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Starting them early.

Political graffiti Saturday morning welcomed students from across the country hoping to enter the University of the Philippines in Diliman, where about 30,000 hopefuls take the nerve-wreaking admission test yearly.

“Bawal ang mga mahihirap dito (Poor people are prohibited here)” and “Edukasyon para sa lahat hindi lang sa mayayaman (Education for all, not just for the rich)” protest slogans were spray-painted on the walls of various buildings in the sprawling state university in Quezon City.

A group, which identified itself as Pambansang Grupo ng mga Mural na Artevista (PGMA), claimed responsibility for the graffiti.

“The artists request complete anonymity as the activity may endanger their positions within the university,” a member said.

PGMA is an organization of artists seeking to educate senior high school students taking the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) about the state of Philippine education and the commercialization of UP, the member said.

UP has a long history of activism and its students played active roles in political protests against the 20-year brutal rule of Ferdinand Marcos and the anti-insurgency war that led thousands fleeing the countryside during Corazon Aquino’s presidency.

“This is probably one of the largest post-Marcos operations. Most, if not all, of the operations are cantered on anti-commercialization of education, strengthened by an anti-Arroyo sentiment,” said the group.

The university police said they would investigate Saturday’s incident, adding students behind the “vandalism” could face academic sanctions, including suspension.


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