MANILA, Philippines—Militant youth on Wednesday stormed the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Quezon City to protest the increase in defense budget while the 2011 national appropriation for education is slashed.Over 20 members of Anakbayan rushed to Camp Aguinaldo’s Gate 2 past 11 a.m. and hurled pig’s blood at the AFP gates, as they called for the rechanneling of the military budget to education.
Anakbayan spokesperson Charisse Banez slammed the impending P1.1 billion cuts in the budget of state universities and college and the P4.14 billion increase in the defense outlay. “The 2011 national budget is an austerity budget in contrast with Aquino’s boast that it is a ‘reformed budget’ and is ‘biased to the poor.’ This year’s education budget translates to P7.9 per Filipino per day based on the current population of 94 million, P1.12 for health and P0.17 for housing,” Banez said.
The group also criticized Malacañang over the continuing extrajudicial killings, which it claimed have already reached 16 in the first 100 days in office of President Benigno Aquino.
“The Aquino government is almost 100 days into its term, thus far, Arroyo remains unscathed because of the sorry fact that nothing substantial is in the works to hold her accountable for human rights violations under her term,” Banez said.
Members of the military police immediately closed the gates of the camp, as protesters attempted to enter Camp Aguinaldo. Soldiers immediately washed off the splashed blood at the camp gates with a fireman’s hose.
Protesters left peacefully minutes after the protest.