No more tears, no more deaths of iskolars ng bayan:
Honor Kristel's memory by raging against the profit-worshipping educational machine


UP Vinzons Hall


March 13, 2014





Photo by Christopher Tejada





Statement of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy —University of the Philippines Diliman on the First
Anniversary of the Death of Kristel Tejada
15 March 2014

The Filipino nation was shocked on March 15, 2013 when Kristel Tejacia, a 16-year old freshman studying Behavioral Sciences in University of the Philippines Manila, daughter of a part-time taxi driver and housewife, took her life after failing to settle a previous loan and was advised to file a forced leave of absence (FLOA). Politicians, students, teachers and school administrators were thrown into disbelief. Her death painfully demonstrated that even in a state.funded university, poor students are not excused from the crunching violence of the system that puts Profit before students' welfare

But more dreadful than her death is the on-going brutal assault of the US-Aquino Regime against state universities and colleges by subjecting them to downsizing, foreclosures, rationalization, and budget-cut. In the middle of this rising tide of neoliberal barbarism and the brutal onslaught occur educational system, teachers, educational workers and students have been building stronger alliance with other patriotk and progressive sectors of society to demand justice for the pointless death clan iskolar ng bayan! Beyond Kristel as the icon of the failure of neoliberal policies of commercialization and privatization of education, teachers and students are now strongly demanding greater state subsidy for public education. The death of Kristel had intensified the simmering anti-capitalist rage among educators and students to demand that the state be held responsible in providing basic social services to the people. The people are now building up irrepressible resistance to the continuing
abandonment of education by the state. Now, we are faced with a forced choice: more deaths of iskolar ng bayan or a humane future.

On the first year anniversary of the death of Kristel Tejada, assce remember this painful memory in the history of the University of the Philippines, as we remember how our useless government and the callous bureaucrats in the state university abandoned Kristel and her family to fend for themselves, we, the members of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy —UP Dili rnan, stand united with the family of Kristel and all the iskolar ng bayan who are seeking justice for her tragic death. We are resolved not to allow the barbaric policy of neoliberal reforms of education to claim another life of iskolar ng bayan and be offered at the cathedral of profit.

We refuse to be coaxed by those reactionary establishment psychologists and bogus existentialist detractors who use Kristers so-called psychological weakness to explain away her ordeal rather than condemn the unjust system that allowed her death. We denounce those who continue to blast the people who found political cause in her death. We demand justice against the Pilates who washed their hands from this meaningless death. We will not allow her death to go in vain. As her memory Is silently passed over by the coldblooded US-Aquino Regime and the merciless bureaucrats of higher learning, we will rage against the sadistic system that forced Kristel to take her life. The mourning is over. We cannot remain forever paralyzed in fear and despair. It's time to rnove on and heighten our struggle against the bureaucratic machine that killed her. We should not allow this system to continuously pommel violently the iskolar ng bayan and their families.

We will continue to demand justice! Her memory, no matter how painful and brutal, will guide and inspire us to take courage to fight until the end. It will be a mockery of Kristel's death if we simply remember her today without waging war against the STFAP system that sealed her fate even if today it mutated as the STS (Socialized Tuition System) monster. Today, our challenge is to harness the immense indignation and the grief we felt and use it creatively and militantly to wage a total war against a system that breaks students' will, and plunges them to destitution and hopelessness.

No more tears. No more deaths! We the members of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy resolutely pledge our relentless pursuit of justice for all iskolar ng bayan. We will always remernber Kristell We will always see Kristers light in the weary faces of poor students and their parents. We believe that the liberation of critters memory from the brutalizing narrative of state abandonment of education can only be accomplished if we persistently work to liberate the iskolar ng bayan from forced subjection to daily despotism of the profit-worshipping educational machine. We will abide by the teaching of Katipunan: "Defend the oppressed and fight the oppressorr No more Kristel Tejadasl

Justice for Kristel Tejada and all iskolar ng bayan! Down with commercialized education! Oppose neoliberal reforms of education! Fight for free education in all levels! Fight bra nationalist, scientific, and mass-based education!





March 13, 2014 at 6:09pm

Kristel,paano ko sisimulan

Itong tulang alay sayo?


Sa pangalan mo bang

Sumisigaw ng hustisya

Para sa mga pangarap na kinitil

Ng di makatarungang sistema?


O sa mukha mong larawan

Ng pag-ibig at pag-asa

Na nilalabo ng mga luha

Sa iyong pagkawala?


Kristel,may silbi pa ba

Ang tula at mga tugma...


Kung tuluyang dumarami

Ang bilang ng mga tulad mo

Na pinagkakaitan ng karapatan

Ng salbaheng lipunan?


Kung sa ibabaw ng iyong libingan

Ay patuloy pa rin kaming nangangamba

Na tulad mo'y bumitiw sa pangarap

Ang marami pang mahihirap?


Kristel,itong tula

Ay dulot ng patuloy na pakikibaka


Habang naririnig namin ang iyong pangalan

Mula sa iba't ibang mukha

Ng kabataang ipinaglalaban

Ang karapatan sa paaralan

Habang ang kwento mo

Ay lulan ng aming mga tula,

Mga awit, mga sigaw, mga karatula

Na 'di katumbas ng buhay ang matrikula

FB of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy





Sa unang taon ng paggunita kay Kristel Tejada

March 13, 2014 at 12:32pm

Parang kailan lang
nang minsan ka ring tumapak, 
abutin ang ningning ng kinabukasan
sa pamantasang hirang ng pangarap.

Parang kahapon lang,
nakaprusisyon ka pa sa reg area,
kipkip ang kulang na matrikula
na pinagbuwisan ng ama't ina.

Parang kanina lang 
sa compshop ka rin nagpalamig,
nakisabay sa sparks ng mga kilig
pagsusunog ng kilay sa hell week.

Parang ilang saglit pa lamang ang dumaraan 
nang nakasingit ng idlip sa library at sa dyip,
nang na-late sa klase dulot ng ganit ng gulong sa kalye,
nang pinaphotocopy ang readings ng minemoryang kaalaman,
nang finill-upan ang bilang ng kagamitan sa tahanan,
nang katibaya'y pinirmahan sa bigat ng pangungutang;

nang nakatanggap ng balitang 
isa ka nang ganap na Iskolar ng Bayan,

at nang nakatanggap din kami ng balitang
matagal na naming paulit-ulit naririnig
ngunit ngayo'y sadya nang nakapangalan  
sa iyong naglahong munting tinig.

Parang ilang saglit pa lamang ang dumaraan 
nang kasama ka pa namin sa magiting na listahan 
ng mga nabubuhay na pag-asa ng bayan

na siyang kinitil nitong makasariling lipunan.

FB of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy



by Arnold Alamon
Friday, March 14, 2014

THE world stopped for all of us when we heard the news – we, who went through the same gauntlet of economic difficulties in pursuit of higher education even in the country’s so-called National University. We have all been victims once of the same system, trying to get by with our meager allowances from the loans our parents’ had to raise just to pay for our tuition and lodging.

We know how it feels when a callous bureaucracy crushes everything that is promising and hopeful within us. But while we endeavored to shore ourselves up by compromising with the system, by making do, you did not. It had to stop, you said to yourself.

All of 16 summers long. You could not wait for the next summer to arrive. Because they did not understand the weight that has been placed on your shoulders as the eldest in your family and the heady promise of reprieve with a college education from the country’s premier state university ending up in betrayal.

They did not understand how a burning stomach feels with just mint candy for lunch. They did not understand the pain of coming to class and meeting requirements with the identity of that of a ghost while still alive. You were still breathing but the flame of your personal struggle against a system which speaks such a strange cruel language had slowly worn out. The ruthlessness must stop and so you offer them your final muted silence.

But it was the final act of the system to rob you of your last glimmer of hope when they barred you from that last illusion that finally did you in – the illusion that as long as you can still enter the grand hallways of this famed institution, you still have a foothold on your dreams; that as long as you can spend time with your classmates, their glowing bright futures can be reflective of your own still. But they took even these last desperate dying embers of hope. This cruel game had to stop.


And stop it, it you did. With a burning liquid down your throat. After all, what good is it to plead when nobody listens? The substance went down your gut. There is nothing left there but the hurt and pain inflicted upon you by the systematic cruelty you faced. You have long been disemboweled and you have been left empty by a system that did not listen. And everything for you stopped.

The maddening truth, however, Kristel is that the world continued spinning even after your painful departure.

A year after your death, the inertia of the bureaucracy with technocrats at the helm that ran you over still barrels through the hopes and dreams of young Filipinos like you. They remain unfazed and oblivious to the blood on their hands. They have considered you a psychological outlier, an aberration to what they assume to be the natural resilience of the young. And they have even used your death to push for divisive measures to make education even more inaccessible to your kind.

Your death presents to us a truth that we have known all along – that the system kills not just young innocent lives, but the hopes and aspirations of an entire generation. But it also a bitter truth for us to learn that if we fail to respond to the urgency of this problem, many more young dreams would be lost.

It pains us to know that we have lost one among our ranks because of our own failures. We feel the guilt of not being able to stand with you in your desperate moment; we who know how cruel the system is and have banded together to fight it; we who have been scarred by the system’s inequities but instead of succumbing to its power, have decided to struggle against it.

We have taken it upon ourselves to not forget instead. As your story resonates with many of the young in this generation, they will be touched by what your life and death has come to mean. They will retell your story in the bonfires of their hearts, spinning your tale with the age-old tales of injustice in this land. They will look at each other and see in each of their hearts your pain, and the pain of the exploited.

But from this pain, will be anger and a stronger resolve to stop this murderous system from claiming even more innocent victims. These heartless bureaucrats must be stopped.








Erra Mae Diaz Zabat

nakapapaso ang landas ng rebolusyon

mapanganib at matinik

bawat liko'y may bangin

ng pag-aatubili

at pagkalunod sa sarili


mapait ang lasa ng pakikibaka

magkahalong asim ng dugo at alat ng luha

sa bawat patak

lumulunday din ang loob

humuhukot ang tindig


madaling lumimot at makalimot

sa nakalalangong ilusyon

pangakong kariwasaa't ginhawa

nagkukunwaring kapayapaan

ang hungkag na katahimikan




ngunit sa pagpaling sa tulog

nagiging hiyaw ang bulong ng digma

muling kapiling kasamang nag-alay

namatay ngunit nabuhay sa bawat bagong laban

nawala ngunit nariyan sa piling ng masa


ano ba ang kahulugan ng pag-alala?

ang kabuluhan ng pagbabalik-tanaw

sa mga nasawi, naiwan at nabuwal sa dilim?

ano ang halaga ng paglingon

sa nakaraang sakbibi ng pighati?


dahil may dalawang kamatayan

una'y ang pagpanaw ng katawang

kalauna'y magiging isa sa lupa

ikalawa'y ang paglimot sa pinaglalaban

at sa pagmaliw ng katagang kasama





An Open Letter to the U.P. Board of Regents on its Feb 6 Decision Upholding the Name of Virata School of Business

Movement Against the Name Virata School of Business

February 10, 2014


We have learned unofficially that last  February 6,  by a majority vote, the U.P. Board of Regents approved with finality the renaming of the College of Business Administration into the Cesar E.A. VirataSchool of Business. Only Rep. Roman Romulo, Student Regent Krista Melgarejo and Staff Regent Rara Ramirez voted against  it.

As of this writing, no official statement on this decision has been issued by the University. Hence, we are raising the following questions.


How did the Board of Regents respond to the resolutions of the University Council of UP Diliman related to this issue? These resolutions were approved by the UC in its December 2, 2013 Special meeting and was transmitted to the Office of the President by  UPD Chancellor on January 7, 2014, a month before the Board of Regents Meeting.


Motion on Naming:


The context of the motion stemmed from the renaming of the College of Business Administration to the Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business. The proponent said that the naming of an academic program after one of the longest serving cabinet members of the Marcos dictatorship was a political issue and has deeply divided the university and its public.


The motion was to retain the naming of academic programs/institutions after the discipline and not after any person, living or dead.


There were three bases for the motion:


First, the long tradition of naming academic programs/institutions after the discipline  had been serving UP well for years


Second, naming the academic program/institutions is highly divisive: within the university and between the university and its publics


Third,  there already exist guidelines/mechanisms to name buildings, streets, and structures to honor outstanding alumni and/or donors. 


With votes of 135 in favor, 63 against, and 7 abstentions, the motion to retain the naming of academic programs after the discipline and not after any person, living or dead, was adopted by the UC.





Motion to recommend to the BOR to rescind the BOR decision on 12 April 2013 to rename the College Business Administration into the Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business 


This motion was raised immediately after the approval the motion to retain the practice of naming academic programs/institutions after the discipline and not after any person living or dead. 


The context of the motion was therefore to ensure consistency in the naming of colleges and units, forward to the BOR the sentiment of the UC regarding the importance of consultations with stakeholders especially on matters which would change long-standing tradition, and reiterate the power of the UC  vis-à-visacademic matters including the naming of academic programs and institutions. 


With votes of 146 in favor, 19 against, and 23 abstentions, the motion to recommend to the BOR to rescind the BOR decision on 12 April 2013 to rename the College Business Administration into the Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business was adopted by the UC.



Faced with this clear majority  vote from the highest academic governing body of the University, there are disturbing anomalies that need to be clarified.


First, how was the public opinion of the students of the College of Business Administration considered in the deliberations by the Board, if at all? Did the Board evaluate carefully the sentiments of the students who are the recipients of this drastic change? Or it simply ignored them in the name of administrative efficiency?


Second, did the board exercise the mandate of democratic governance when it merely paid lip-service to the strong dissenting sentiments expressed publicly by the faculty, alumni and students who are against a precedent-setting decision that creates dissension within theUniversity? 


How is democratic governance exercised by the Board when it gave undue privilege to the representatives from the College of Business Administration to expound before the Boarddefending the renaming of College of Business Administration to Virata School of Business but did not consider the resolution of the University Council regarding this issue, nor even invited those who call for the revocation of the name-change.  Brazen railroading is the only appropriateterm to describe this simulated democratic process.


In the name of accountability and transparency, the Board owes the academic community of UP, the alumni, and especially those who fought the dictatorship under Martial Law an account of how the decision was made, and compelling explanation why its decision is the best for the entire UP community and for the generations who will be affected by this decision. We demand no less than immediate response.




Alay Kay Kristel

nina Jina Umali at Cynthia Zayas

halaw Sa titik at musika ng UP ang Galing mo 

Karagdagang titik mula sa tulang Lason ni Joi Barrios

elehiyang Sentensiya ni Sarah Raymundo

sa pagtatanghal ng UP-CIS Bunraku Ensemble

Para sa Isang Taong Anibersaryo ng Kamatayan ni Kristel Tejada


Narito tayo nagpupugay

Kay Kristel na iskolar ng bayan

Sa isang iglap ng kaniyang buhay

makukulay na lobo’y binitawan

(Lobo-lobong makulay binitiwan  )

Dito sa UP naming Mahal


Ang iyong mga guro

Mga opisyales na walang puso

Taglay nila’y husay at talino

Isinara ang pintuan

Sa kabataan dahil sa kahirapan

(Sinara ang pintuan sayong)

(Kabataan dahil sa kahirapan)




Sandaang taon na tayo

Muli nating isapuso

Edukasyon para sa lahat

Dangal, lakas at

Pag-angkin sa bukas.

UP ‘to ang galing mo!


Mabilis lang to, kulang pera ko

Mabilis lang to, STFAP ang sagot n’yo

Binalewala angking-talino’t galing

Mabilis lang to, paalam na sa inyo.

Ikaw UP ang nangunguna!


Narito tayo nagpupugay

Sa mag-aaral na di makapag-aral

Alalala muling binabalikan

Di pa rin malilimutan

Dito sa UP naming Mahal





Visit webpage on Kristel posted in 2013