UP students hold vigil for ‘Lorena’

UP students say the state education system should be giving preference to the under-privileged

MANILA, Philippines – University of the Philippines students held a vigil for fellow-student “Lorena” (not her real name) on Friday, March 15, also protesting the believed reason for her suicide.

Lorena, like other UP Manila students with unpaid accounts, was barred from attending classes and was forced to file a forced leave of absence (FLOA) after failing to meet the deadline for tuition payments.

Professor Andrea Bautista Martinez of the Department of Behavioral Sciences was quoted as saying the student frequented the Office of Student Services to seek counseling. “Since February, hindi na siya pumapasok. Lagi siyang nagte-text sa ’kin na hindi niya kinakaya ang problema.” (Since February, she has not been going to school. She was always texting me, telling me she couldn’t handle the problem.)

A candle lighting activity was held as part of the UP system-wide memorial service for Lorena. 

VIGIL. UP students hold a simple memorial for fellow-student, Lorena. Photo by Paige Occeñola

On Friday afternoon students gathered on the steps of Palma Hall, some of them saying the suicide points to a serious problem in the country’s state education system which should be giving preference to the under-privileged.


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