Police release UP teachers arrested in budget protest
MANILA, Philippines — The two UP Visayas (UPV) teachers who were arrested in a protest action Thursday afternoon, September 24, were released midnight on the same day, the Philippine Collegian reported.
The two were arrested in Iloilo City by local police after they joined a walkout protest against the reported P2.2-billion cut from the state university's budget in 2016.
Literature instructor Erick Aguilar and history instructor Gretchen Velarde faced charges of "illegal assembly" and "civil disobedience.”
Students and some faculty members also took part in the walkout. Nine others were arrested, facing the same charges.
"Desperate move ito ng state na protektahan ang interest ng dayuhan dahil sa APEC, (This is the state's desperate move to protect the interest of foreigners because it's APEC)," Aguilar, a Palanca-winning playwright, told the Philippine Collegian.
IloIlo City is hosting the 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the world’s largest regional economic group. The two-day event is being attended by various representatives from around the globe.
Members of the UP community across different campuses held rallies on Thursday, condemning the cut, the biggest drop in its budget under the Aquino administration in 2016.
The Department of Budget and Management is proposing P10.9 billion for the UP system in 2016, lower than the current year's P13.14 billion budget.