Thursday, August 11, 2005
Senator Raul Roco
NUSP President 1961-1962
The National Union of Students of the Philippines mourns the untimely passing of former Senator Raul Roco, especially at this critical time in our nation’s history in which the people are in dire need of leaders like him who can steer the nation forward towards genuine democracy, development and social justice.
Senator Roco was staunch defender of students’ rights and academic freedom during his days in the student movement and his tenure as the youngest National President of the NUSP at a time of heightening student activism in the 1960s will never be forgotten and will forever be part of the history of struggle that the student movement up to the present prides itself by.
As a political giant in the Senate, Senator Roco was one of the pioneers of EDSA Dos, struggling with the youth and students in ousting a populist president over corruption charges in 2001. He was greatly admired by the students for his political will in denouncing a corrupt regime and standing by the side of the people during those critical times of protest and dissent.
In his desire for systemic change, Senator Roco offered himself for the presidency twice in a presidential platform of government that was centered on the education of the youth, towards education for all. He never lost sight of the ideals of the Union – a nationalist, mass-oriented and scientific educational system for the Filipino youth.
Senator Raul Roco died at a time when the Filipino people longed for leaders to struggle with them out of the present national crisis besetting the nation. But the Filipino students and the Filipino people will continue to struggle forth to ensure that all the ideals which Senator Roco lived by will ultimately be realized – for the youth and the people in struggle.