Youth group challenges President Aquino to a debate on pork barrel, corruption

“The police forced me to swallow the banner I was holding. It was about this big.”-Em Mijares

em mijares 2

“We demand trial by combat”

This is what YOUTH ACT NOW , an anti-pork barrel youth group in the country said on Tuesday, as the group challenged President Benigno Aquino III to a “face-to-face-debate” on the pork barrel system and corruption that are hounding the current administration.

The challenge came alongside the snowballing call for Aquino to drop charges against Atene de Naga student Emmanuel Pio “Em” Mijares , who briefly interrupted the president’s Independence speech in Naga City last Thursday.

During the Independence Day commemoration in Naga, Mijares shouted “Walang pagbabago” as he unfurled a red banner. There were other student activists who shouted “Patalsiking ang Pork Barrel King! Walang pagbabago sa ilalin ni Aquino”, a few meters away from president was giving his speech.

em mijares forum
“We were voicing out valid concerns – education woes, budget misprioritization, and corruption.”-Em Mijares

Mijares was immediately whisked away by the Presidential Security Group and was detained for a day. He was eventually charged with “Tumults and other disturbances of public order” and creating “alarm and public scandal”. He was also charged with assault on agent of authority.

em mijares on heckling
“The streamer I was holding states ‘education for all.’ Yet the police insists that it sparked violence.”-Em Mijares

“As we reiterate the call for the dropping of charges against Mijares, we also challenge the president to speak for himself and engage in debate with a student leader from our ranks.” says YOUTH ACT NOW spokesperson Victor Villanueva.

“Instead of filing trumped up charges against youth activists like Mijares, who are only exercising their right to free speech, Aquino should face the criticisms against him head on. We challenge you to a deabte on pork barrel and corruption, Mr. President!”, Villanueva declared.

Photos via @KabataanPL on twitter.

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado is a Content Strategist with over 13 years experience in blogging, content management, citizen advocacy and media literacy and over 23 years in web development. Otherwise known as @MomBlogger on social media, she believes in making a difference in the lives of her children by advocating social change for social good.

She is a co-founder and a member of the editorial board of Blog Watch . She is a resource speaker on media literacy, social media , blogging, digital citizenship, good governance, transparency, parenting, women’s rights and wellness, and cyber safety.

Her personal blogs such as (parenting) , (recipes), (gadgets) and (lifestyle), keep her busy outside of Blog Watch.


I am an advocate. I am NOT neutral. I will NOT give social media mileage to members of political clans, epal, a previous candidate for the same position and those I believe are a waste of taxpayers’ money.

I do not support or belong to any political party.

She was a Senior Consultant for ALL media engagements for the PCOO-led Committee on Media Affairs & Strategic Communications (CMASC) under the ASEAN 2017 National Organizing Council from January 4 -July 5, 2017. Having been an ASEAN advocate since 2011, she has written extensively about the benefits of the ASEAN community and as a region of opportunities on Blog Watch and

Organization affiliation includes Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation

Updated Juky 15, 2019

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