“With This We Call For Change”
By Manuel Rodriguez II, UST - Students' Democratic Party(SDP)
“…DEMOCRACY… IT IS OUR DUTY NOW, IN DANGER AS IN SECURITY, TO UPHOLD AND SUSTAIN IT WITH ALL THAT WE HAVE AND ARE.”
-excerpt from the Democratic Creed by Stephen Bennet
(Standard creed of the SDP 1st party convention)
The case of Mr. Jocjoc Bolante on the 728 million pesos fund for fertilizers, the disappearance of the 3.1 billion budget for irrigation, Arroyo’s fraudulent acts on the 2004 national elections that made her an illegitimate president, left and right cases of extra-judicial killings and the most recent and controversial NBN-ZTE deal scandal.
For 7 years the Arroyo regime failed to uphold the trust of the Filipino nation, our country is left tortured and wounded. The continuous issues and scandals in the country’s political arena have effectively placed into the spotlight the crisis in the administration of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – the crisis which has transformed the people’s search for truth and justice into an advocacy to oust an immoral leader of the land.
The whole truth about the anomalous NBN-ZTE contract is slowly being revealed by the statements of a very credible individual in the persona of our fellow Thomasian, Eng’r Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada, former President of PhilForest, a corporation owned by the government. According to Lozada, Mr. Jose Miguel “Mike”Arroyo the husband of the President of the Republic of the Philippines, and the former ComElec Chairperson Benjamin Abalos are one of the people who are very willing to close the deal between the Philippines and China, because of their self interests to earn a 65 million to 130 million US dollars commission.
While majority of our people live their everyday life with only 65 pesos or lower on their pockets, people like Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Abalos are earning millions without sweat.
Under this kind of administration our search for truth will not and never be easy and will face many crossroads and obstacles. We can expect the government to discredit witness like Eng’r Lozada and block possible bearer of truth like Sec. Romulo Neri of CHEd.
If the University of Santo Tomas (UST) demands from its students which are their main stakeholders commitment, compassion and competence, then the nation as the same expect from the Thomasians to make use of their education in defining and knowing the difference between justice and injustice with very strong fervor.
In a three page paper titled “Why I Cannot and Will Not Support Calls for the Presidents’ Resignation,” pro- administration priest Fr. Ranhillio Calangan- Aquino pointed out that “when one protests his earnestness in search for truth, and at the same time presses for the resignation of the President (PGMA), one is guilty ofperformative contradiction.”
“If you search for truth, you do not know yet the whether she is guilty or not. But if you do know this yet, what reason is there to ask her to resign?” Fr. Aquino retorted.
My response to his statement? It is not that the current President has lost her capacity to govern the country, however due to many controversial events, I believe that the President should step down or be ousted from her position because of her inability to gain the trust of the Filipino people. Leadership requires influence; clearly the President has lost that.
With this we call for change.
Often recalcitrant, but always principled.