The bitter in the bittersweet UP Christmas experience is of course, today’s final approval of the Tuition and Other Fee Increases (ToFI) for the entire University of the Philippines System.
It has been a very exhausting campaign. We’ve been at it since summer. And because it was never finalized till recently when they’ll actually tackle the issue on the board, campaigns are exercised regularly the past months.
It’s just really sad that it’s finally taking effect for incoming UP students from next year thereafter. I wasn’t at the picket the entire time, due to numerous reasons. I even had some misunderstandings with some friends at the rally. Let’s leave it at that. To turn the tables upside down and increase the antagonism against protesters, the UP administration also canceled today’s much-anticipated annual Lantern Parade due to ‘intelligence reports’ of planned attacks on persons and properties in lieu of the anti-tuition increase rally. How Gloria Arroyo-like, if I may say.
It was very disappointing. We worked all day Saturday for the lantern and the belen and the parade props. How very ingenious of ’em. First, schedule a Board of Regents meeting on the day of the Lantern Parade at such an odd hour–an hour before the parade–odd, because regular meetings are always held at 9 in the morning. Then, exaggerate reports of planned mass actions and cancel the much-loved event to create a backlash against the protest.