Last Friday, while almost 10,000 people from various sectors of civil-society rallied in Makati City to denounce the corrupt regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as exemplified by the scuttled National Broadband Network deal, key leaders representing the various sectors of the De La Salle University – Dasmariñas met in an emergency meeting at the University Student Council office in order to discuss its future plans and actions in relation to the issue.
Present then were the Presidents of the University Student Council, Council of Student Organizations, Faculty Association, the Directors and Heads of the Lasallian Community Development Center, Campus Ministry Office, NSTP department, Heraldo Filipino and the Dean of Student Services. The group decided that it was the right time for the DLSU-D community to put its foot down and make known to the public where it stands in these pressing issues of our times.
After deliberations, the core-group decided that an official statement reflecting the stand of the university with regards to the NBN controversy and that statement would be the start of DLSU-D’s more pro-active participation in the growing calls for truth, justice and transparency in government. More importantly, it is an answer to the call of the De La Salle Brothers, whom in the fulfillment of their solemn pledge to live out the values of a true Christian and a Lasallian.
Being the head of the Advocacy & Students’ Rights Committee of the USC, I was tasked to write the draft statement of the University. It focused on three main points: a plea to the Supreme Court for more expedient disposition of important cases before it, to the Senate to continue on with its hearings and investigations since no other alternative is credible enough to ferret out the truth, and to the Pilipino nation, to unite and act as one in ending once-and-for-all this dark age of evil, corruption, oppression and plunder that the current administration has plunged us into.
Of course it went through the usual process of editing, revising and proofreading so that the University would have little to no regrets in coming out with such a statement. The result thus is the final version as reproduced below in full verbatim, and since I am among the writers, it is written in Filipino. (an English translation will soon be made available)
ANG PANAWAGAN NG PAMILYANG LASALYANO MULA SA DASMARIÑAS, CAVITE
Tayo ngayon ay nalalagay sa kaguluhan, korupsyon at kawalan ng katapatan mula sa pinakamataas na antas ng ating gobyerno. Ang mayapa, demokratiko at tapat na paghahanap sa katotohanan at hustisya ng sambayanang Pilipino ay sistematikong sinusugpo, hinahadlangan o di kaya’y binabaluktot upang mapanatiling nasa kadiliman ang taumbayan.
Ang hinaing at panawagan sa katotohanan at hustisya ay hindi bulong lamang ng iilan sa kawalan. Ngayon, ay lalo pang dumarami ang mga sector ng lipunan na kumikilos upang mailabas ang katotohanan at makamit ang hustisya.
Kasama ng mga iilang tapat na opisyal ng gobyerno at ang mga grupo mula sa iba’t-ibang sector ng lipunan: ang mga relihiyoso, kabataan, estudyante, guro, manggagawa at mga naisasantabi tulad ng mga maralitang tagalungsod at iba pa, kaming mga miyembro ng Pamilyang Lasalyano sa Dasmariñas, Cavite, gabay ng mga dakilang aral ni San Juan Bautista De La Salle at mga Prinsipyong Gabay ng Pamilyang Lasalyano, ay nakikiisa sa panawagan para sa katotohanan, katapatan, at pananagutan ng mga tiwaling opisyal ng pamahalaan.
Kami ay nananawagan sa:
- Kataas-taasang Hukuman upang agarang resolbahin ang isyu ukol sa temporary restraining order na ipinataw nito upang ipahinto ang pag-imbita kay Kalihim Neri na magsalita sa Senado ukol sa mga nalalaman nito sa ZTE – NBN Deal;
- Senado na ipagpatuloy ang pagdinig sa ZTE – NBN Deal at iba pang maanumalyang kinasasangkutan ng rehimen ni Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo upang malaman at panagutin ang mga tiwaling opisyal na nagkasala sa sambayanang Pilipino; at
- Sambayanang Pilipino na sumama at makilahok sa mga mapayapa at demokratikong pagkilos, mobilisasyon at pagbubuklod-buklod hanggang sa makamit natin ang matagal na nating minimithi: katotohanan, hustisya; maka-tao, makabayan at maka-Diyos na panunugkulan.
University Student Council AY 2007-2008 (USC
Alumni Association, Inc.
Kapatiran ng Bagong Lakas, Kaunlaran at Tatag (KABALIKAT DLSU-D Employees Association)
Parents Association of La Salle Cavite (POLCA)
This statement was read out loud by yours truly in a mobilization of students, administration and faculty of DLSU-D earlier today at around 11am. During the gathering, two television sets were setup to display and make audible to the whole university the live coverage of the Senate hearings in which De La Salle Brother Felipe, FSC testified and recounted how the family of Jun Lozada came under the protection and aid of the De La Salle Brothers. When Bro Felipe, FSC told that the reason why the Brothers helped the Lozadas is because it was their obligation and duty as Christian brothers to help those in need, the almost 300 students who joined the gathering cheered and applauded with great pride.
Aside from the official statement by the University, representatives from the various student sectors were invited to speak and air their advocacies and stand in this issue. Those who were represented were the University Student Council, led by Joymay Amihan, Council of Student Organizations, Lasallian Pre-law society, Political Science Program Council, the College of Liberal Arts Student Council led by Jackner Borja and the brave student from ENT11 who also shared their stand. It was, in a nutshell, a showcase of street oratory by Lasallian students from DLSU-D.
This small act is a testimony and message that we Lasallians in Cavite are not silent and apathetic to the national situation and that the De La Salle Brothers are not alone in their quest for truth, justice, peace and prosperity for the Philippines.
More actions from the DLSU-D will be be unfolding in the coming days, we would not stop until the truth has come out, until justice is served and prosperity come to this great country of ours.
It’s time like these that makes me damn proud to be a Lasallian! Animo La Salle!
*more photos here and much more to come in the days ahead.