Thursday, August 11, 2005


August 2, 2005

“If Department of Injustice Sec. Raul Gonzales is a reckless lapdog, then President Arroyo is an irresponsible M aster. This was the statement by Terry Ridon, Deputy Vice-President for Luzon as the National Union of Students of the Philippines joined a picket by students of the University of the Philippines Manila in front of the Department of Justice in Padre Faura, Manila.

Ridon adds, “Based on the principle that cabinet secretaries are the alter-egos of the Chief Executive, President Arroyo should also be held responsible for letting loose delusional propagandists such as Secretary Gonzales for insinuating that the University of the Philippines is a haven of subversives and government dissidents. Sadly, his petty tirades utterly fail in creating support for the president and instead antagonize the students further from the regime, particularly the Iskolars ng Bayan.”

“Besides, it is wrong for Sec. Gonzales to claim that it is the government that funds the University of the Philippines,” Ridon asserts, “as it is ultimately the people that pays for the education of its youth. Lest we forget, it is in this sorry regime that the country’s premier state university got its biggest budget cut of more than 300 million pesos last year. That is what the students get for Gloria’s economic program of slashing social services for more debt service.”

Even the Secretary’s suggestion to review the UP Charter deserves to be scoffed at by the Iskolars ng Bayan. “They can amend the UP Charter all they want but they can never stifle the University’s tradition of militant struggle and social critique as it is rooted in decades of historic struggles of UP students for social justice and democracy, and against despotic regimes such as now,” Ridon proudly proclaims.

“if at all, the best that the President and Sec. Gonzales have done for UP is to convince and consolidate the Iskolars ng Bayan further as a community of dissent against this regime – a regime that values selfish political survival over the democratic interests of the youth and the people,” Ridon further asserts.

“As of late, numerous University Student Councils and College Student Councils are demanding a public apology from you, Secretary Gonzales,” says Ridon. “He is a very valuable asset to the President, an asset to her immediate ouster from power if Mrs. Arroyo does not keep a tighter leash on her loose cannons posing as honorables.”

Ridon finally suggests, “Say your mea culpas now, Secretary, before the historic struggle of the Iskolars ng Bayan, the youth and the people finally catches up on you and your President.”’

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