FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2009
Reference: Jessica Antonio, Chairperson, firstname.lastname@example.org
On August 19th, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and Presidential Security Group violently dispersed members of the League of Filipino Students, Anakbayan, and the Student Christian Movement, who were protesting in front of Malacanang Palace to express their outrage over President Arroyo’s rampant abuse of government money used to finance her recent trip to visit President Obama. Mrs. Arroyo and her entourage of more than 20 administrators feasted on extravagant dinners which amounted to more than $40,000, while the economic troubles of the Philippines worsen and thousands of people are left hungry each day.
The Presidential Security Group’s vicious response resulted in 17 students sustaining multiple injuries as they were beaten with batons and physically assaulted. They detained 20 students, keeping them from paralegals who wanted to check on their well-being. The students protesting were merely demonstrating their disgust over the government’s refusal to provide basic human necessities – food, medicine, water, access to an education, jobs, and housing.
As is often the case, the Arroyo government has attempted to silence the voice of the people through the use of violence. Under this administration, there have been over 1,100 reported cases of human rights abuses, which involve the kidnapping, torture, and killing of teachers, students, journalists, church leaders, and labor organizers. A recent case includes the abduction and torture of Filipino American, Melissa Roxas, this past May.