Secretary Abad mobbed after UP Forum

By on September 18, 2014

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad. Photo courtesy of the World Economic Forum 2014 / Fotopedia
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad. Photo courtesy of the World Economic Forum 2014 / Fotopedia

MANILA, Philippines – Budget Secretary Florencio Abad was mobbed by protesting students on Wednesday night after he spoke at a forum in the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.

According to a statement from Vencer Crisostomo, chair of Anakbayan, about 100 student activists blocked the exits of the venue and protested as Abad was about to exit the auditorium of the UP School of Economics. UP students repeatedly chanted ‘Magnanakaw! (Thief!)’ in his face and hurled their placards and crumpled papers with signs saying ‘#DAPatManagot, Noynoy patalsikin! (Take responsibility! Impeach Noynoy!)’

The statement added that some who were able to get close hurled paper and threw coins at him and said ‘Ito para sa mga ninakawan niyo! (This is for those you have stolen money from!)’ He could not easily enter his car and his vehicle was blocked. As he boarded his vehicle, a student got close and grabbed him by the back of his collar.

Abad released his own statement in the incident, explaining he was prepared to address the concerns of the protesters but was attacked instead, an incident he deems as ‘very disappointing.’

President Benigno Aquino III also expressed disappointment over UP violence on Abad. He believed that as the premier university, ‘UP is expected to promote responsibility in the exercise of the freedom of expression and civility while engaging in political discourse.’

Abad was a speaker, together with representatives of CODE-NGO, in the forum on the 2015 budget. In a statement, Anakbayan said Abad defended the Aquino Administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and President Benigno Aquino III’s pork barrel.

UP itself received DAP funds in 2012. The P129.9 billion allocation allowed it to embark on infrastructure and development projects.

With report from Cyra Moraleda