Wednesday, June 22, 2005


21 JUNE 2005

“Students will serve as critical watchdogs in the legislative inquiry on the GMA-Garcillano audio tape.” This is the statement of National Union of Students of the Philippines Deputy Vice-President for Luzon Terry Ridon as the House of Representatives convenes to shed light on the alleged wiretapped conversations implicating President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as an active participant of the massive and systematic efforts to rig the presidential elections in her favor.

This is an affair that concerns us all as stakeholders of this controversy being contested by various political groups. Youth groups are one of the largest constituencies in the last EDSA uprising that indirectly installed Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. “Instead of genuine reforms, we have got more rabid forms of graft and corruption and intensifying government neglect amidst this fraudulent and scandal-ridden regime notwithstanding the continuing disregard for education and other basic social services.

“There can never be any stability in our political life as long as fundamental questions raised by these tapes are not concretely addressed. As her silence becomes more deafening by the day, the youth’s verdict on her regime is continually taking shape, Ridon further explains.

Yet, the youth and the students are being co-opted by the government through groups such as the Y-PAD formation which visits schools and universities, preaching against the alleged destablizers such as activists and the opposition. However, these so-called destabilization efforts are but a sustained campaign for meaningful reforms in public governance and economic policies.

But co-opting the youth towards ignorance and pacification is more devious than brushing off the audio tape issue altogether. “No amount of sugarcoated publicity statements, legal gobbledygook and fascist measures can put off the people’s demand to know.

For its part, The National Union of Student of the Philippines will lead the call on the youth to guard this congressional inquiry and will conduct sustained mass actions, listening sessions, educational discussions and audio tape distributions in coordination with the people’s quest for the truth.

“We call on the president to speak on the issues before her lest be deemed guilty by the people,” Ridon finally asserts.

Unless the president gives her side on the issues, the political tension will continue snowballing into further unrest and lead the people in turning the streets into a blazing arena of protest and dissent.

Reference: 09173375051

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