Why this petition matters
“Salus populi est suprema lex”
The welfare of the people is the supreme law. As such, the power lies within the people to uphold and dignify a government that is by the people, of the people and for the people. This election day is set to change the course of our lives for the next six years and beyond.
As student representatives, it is inherent that we champion student rights, fight for their causes, and be their voices in addressing the pressing issues they face. Thus, sitting in a position of power entitles compassion and empathy that must be rooted for being of service to others and any peril to this service is a disrespect to humanity.
The return of another Marcos and the emergence of another Duterte into power is a disrespect to the history of the Filipino people who lived, fought, and died during the Martial Law era, and also during the current fascist Duterte administration–seats for them and their allies are seats for politicians who are entangled with corruption, human rights abuses, and political dynasties.
Liliosa Hilao is a student from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, a true leader, and a hero whose seat was left open during her supposed graduation ceremony as she died ruthlessly in the hands of the military and the police. After being abducted from writing publications about the death of democracy in the Philippines under Martial Law, Liliosa was eventually brutally murdered and raped. Liliosa’s torture was the first reported case of a political prisoner’s death under the bloody regime.
In addition to our roots, the tandem’s no-shows in relevant debates, the lack of tangible platforms presented during the campaign season, and affiliation with elites who have questionable backgrounds are foresight to their possible undertakings once seated in office. Another six years of ill-governance might just be the final nail on the coffin given the country’s already crippled state due to the pandemic.
It is high time that we, as a University, recognize that although academic excellence is of utmost importance, its attainment should not compromise the fulfilment of our social responsibilities. The Pamantasan and its students have never been passive in fighting a tyrant. Thus, we call on the University administration to extend the suspension of synchronous and asynchronous classes as well as the assignment and submission of academic requirements until May 16, 2022 to afford the students, faculty, and staff time to accomplish their civic duties.
What good is it to seek the betterment of our individual and collective academic standing at a time when it is our country’s future that is at stake?