A Day of Mourning

30 03 2011

Itinuloy na ng pamahalaang Tsina ang pagpatay sa tatlong Pilipinong drug mules na sina Sally Ordinario, Ramon Credo at Elizabeth Batain, mga biktima ng mga malalaking sindikato ng droga. LEthal injection ang ginamit na paraan sa pagkitil ng kanilang buhay.

Ang Student Council Alliance of the Philippines ay nakikiramay sa mga naiwan nila Sally, Ramon at Elizabeth.





SCAP Expresses Solidarity to the Struggles of the Students of UI-PEN

25 03 2011

The Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, the largest and broadest formation of student councils, political parties, organizations and young leaders in the country with member-schools in more than 60 provinces and 100 cities nationwide, expresses its solidarity with the nursing and criminology students of the University of Iloilo – PHINMA Education Network (UI-PEN) as they struggle to fight for their rights.

Hundreds of UI-PEN students will not march for graduation on this Saturday’s ceremonies because of the administration’s repressive policies that impose unreasonable demands upon the supposed graduates.

Hit by these anti-student policies are the school’s nursing and criminology students.

Graduating nursing students were forced to enroll in a P15,000 review program that was made part of the Elective on Nursing Care Management (NCM 501-205) subject. Under this system, the student’s review ratings will comprise 40% of the NCM 501-205 lecture grade and review attendance strictly monitored.

SCAP points out that this is a violation of CHED Memorandum No. 13 series of 2006 which prohibits Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from forcing their graduates and graduating students to enroll in their own review centers. SCAP also states that with this review program, the students are placed in a dire situation where they are forced to pay exorbitant fees for something not academically required, making their graduation eligibility at risk.

Meanwhile, the criminology students faced a similar dilemma. The criminology students were forced to pay P3,000 review fees for a Mock Board that was not included in their prospectus when they enrolled. They took the exam on March 12-13 2011. This exam had a passing grade of 75%, and those who did not pass were not allowed to graduate. The results were released on March 16, and no one passed the exam.

SCAP sees this as an exercise of authority and power to usurp more money, while pointing also the undemocratic implementation of this Mock Board. With SCAP as their ally, the criminology students call out the school’s administration to protect and uphold students’ rights and academic excellence instead of mandating anti-student policies that endanger every student’s progress.

In light of the recent events at UI-PEN, SCAP strongly suggests that the administration of the said institution review how it regards students’ rights and welfare in the campus.  At present, UI-PEN does not serve as a breeding ground for critical minds that could be a cogent and potent force for nation-building.  Because of the administration’s anti-student policies, UI-PEN students are constantly under siege from the undemocratic administration.

The Alliance also extends its support to the institution’s University Student Council and Political Science Organization, member-organizations within the campus, as they lead the dialogue between the students and the UI-PEN administration.  We urge our member-organizations to continue to fight against any office that impedes the security of students’ welfare.

In the name of the Alliance,

GIO TINGSON

National Chairperson

GIBBY GORRES

National Secretary-General

REYANNE JOY LIBRADO

Member-at-Large for Visayas

JOELYN LIMSON

Visayas Coordinator





Statement of Condemnation Against the Anti-LGBT PROF. LORENZO LAROCO, MSU GenSan, OSA-Director

24 03 2011

Who is to define morality? Who is to define what is ethical? These are the questions positioned by Prof. Lorenzo Laroco, the director of the Office of Student Affairs of Mindanao State University (MSU) – General Santos City.

At first glance, these questions echo the more progressive minds of today in rejection to the autonomy and monopoly of so-called truths propagated by certain traditional institutions.  In human history, there is a danger towards the assertion of a powerful entity on the monopoly of truths which have led to events such as the Tiananmen Massacre and the Spanish Inquisition.

Such human experience has led progressives and revolutionaries to question institutions that assert autonomy over the truth.  This struggle has precipitated to the struggles of various sectors such as women, labor, peasant and youth.  One sector that remains a victim of this regressive culture is the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgendered or LGBT sector.

Being deemed “abnormal”, “sick” or even an “abomination” to what is considered normal (whatever normal is) and an aberration from the “true course of nature” are some of the cultural labels that members of the LGBT community endure.  In schools and in the workplace, researches sponsored by The Library Foundation have shown that lesbians and gays, especially crossdressers, are being discriminated upon.  These very same derogatory cultural labels are being re-echoed by Laroco’s statement with the lengthy title “On Redefining Morality, Crossdressing, On Students Wearing Slippers and Shorts, On ASAP and those who Call Themselves ‘Mga Iskolar ng Bayan’”.

Laroco’s statement was a reply to the article released by the Alliance of Students for Alternative Politics (ASAP), a member political party of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP).  ASAP’s article communicated their platform of gender equality, more especially in safeguarding the rights of the LGBT community within the MSU.  ASAP as a genuine pro-student political party sees the security of LGBT rights under the umbrella of academic and personal freedom that Laroco was quick to respond against.

Laroco’s statement teems of anti-LGBT pronouncements such as “We accept you/gays in the University as our students who are not yet hopeless cases who still can be trained in [sic] the right path” and “Would you want us to call your parents about your crossdressing and your misconduct and let your parents suffer the humiliation instead of just you being ridiculed and jeered at?”

The Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, the largest and broadest formation of student councils, political parties, organizations and young leaders in the country with member-schools in more than 60 provinces and 100 cities nationwide, STRONGLY CONDEMNS the anti-LGBT statements of Laroco.

In response, we give the following points:

  1. In the spirit of authentic humanization, any person of whatever gender should be accorded with full respect as to her or his dignity as a human person.  This respect entails the acknowledgment of her/his right to exercise all civil and political liberties, including the freedom to dress in the best way to express her or himself without violating the civil and political liberties of her/his fellow women/men.
  2. Universities as education institutions serve as breeding ground for critical thinkers that could serve as a cogent and potent force towards nation-building.  The fascist-like disciplinary tenets that Laroco describes in his statement have no place in a democracy where value for pluralism and dissenting opinion should be respected and upheld.
  3. Ethics and morality are not synonymous.  Morality as a social construct is an amalgamation of mores (thus the term) including the present cultural and social values.  Morality changes as time and place change.  Thus, there is no entity, be it in the person of Laroco, which has the autonomy to prescribe what is moral, proper or decent.  Ethics, on the other hand, is the manner of judging an action in relation to the intention and the mode undertaken by the actor.
  4. Good manners is only good manners if it is out of respect.  Laroco’s scathing statement goes “What is so wrong is when the taxpayers (sic) money (thousands of pesos for each every semester [sic]) is spent on you – iskolar/s ng bayan – who could not distinguish between right or wrong, between what is ethical/moral, or unethical/immoral, who could not define what decorum is and who could not dignify your elementary and high school teachers who taught you for ten (10) long years Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC)!” It has to be understood first by Laroco that he serves as an epitome of what Philippine education should NOT be: fascist, regressive and stupid.  The students of ASAP have been dignifying their past GMRC teachers by stressing this golden point: Respecting the way other people dress, speak or think, even if these are not in agreement with yours, is good manners.  Belligerently imposing your personal set of values and beliefs upon others, even dictating the way they should dress, is bad manners.

In light of these points discussed above, Laroco has no place in MSU.

Laroco, who impedes freedom of thought and ideas, has no place in an education institution where critical thinking necessary for citizenship should be a culture.  Laroco, who is intolerant of others who espouse a different set of beliefs, has no place in an education institution where tolerance coming from genuine human respect should be the baseline of human relations.  Laroco, who is anti-LGBT, has no place in an education institution that seeks the eradication of all forms of discrimination and prejudices.

So really, who is to define morality?  Who is to define what is ethical?  Most certainly not Laroco.  In the absence of a single definition of what is moral and what is ethical, respect should still prevail and this should be reflected in the way we deal our fellow women and men, no matter what their gender is.  Having to dress “properly”, as what Laroco describes, is merely a pretentious sheen of what is seemingly proper.

Respecting others without basing on how they look like: now that’s decorum.

The Alliance CONDEMNS the anti-LGBT statements of Laroco and, in behalf of ASAP and the rest of the membership of the Alliance, DEMANDS Laroco’s public apology to the LGBT community, to the students of MSU especially to the members of ASAP whom he have named and maligned in his statements to be followed by his hasty RESIGNATION from any post in the said institution.

In the name of the Alliance,

GIO TINGSON

National Chairperson

GIBBY GORRES

National Secretary-General

RALPH IVAN SAMSON

Chairperson for Mindanao

NOVA JANE LACBAO

Secretary-General for Mindanao

MAKI ACEDO

Member-at-Large for Mindanao

For Laroco’s statement, please click:

For ASAP’s article, please click:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/18039824/redefining%20morality.pdf





Resolution urging the passage of the SK Reform and Empowerment Bill – SCAP

23 03 2011

WHEREAS, the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines is the largest and broadest formation of student councils, political parties, organizations and young leaders in the country with member-schools in more than 60 provinces and 100 cities nationwide.

WHEREAS, the Alliance pushes for the direct and meaningful participation of young people in the affairs of the State.

WHEREAS, the Alliance also commits itself to actively strive for progressive and positive change within the society in which it exists.

WHEREAS, the Youth in Nation Building Act or Republic Act 8044 stipulates that the State “recognizes its responsibility to enable the youth to fulfill their vital role in nation-building”.

WHEREAS, House Bill No. 468 or the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform and Empowerment Bill sponsored by Akbayan Reps. Walden Bello and Kaka Bag-ao seeks to “putting the SK on the right track” requiring “an overhaul of its set-up”.

WHEREAS, the Alliance vehemently opposes the abolition of the SK and present alternatives to it as a struggle against tokenism and band-aid solutions.

WHEREAS, the Alliance supports the provisions of the HB No. 468 especially the strengthening of the Katipunan ng Kabataan or KK as an oversight body in the affiars of the KK.

WHEREAS, the Alliance supports HB No. 468’s provision on the creation of the Katipunang Pangkaunlaran ng mga Kabataan which has the mandate to draft the youth development plan of the SK.

WHEREAS, the Alliance recognizes the need to, as HB No. 468 provides, democratize the access to power by introducing anti-dynasty provisions.

WHEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED AS IT IS RESOLVED, that the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines strongly supports the passage of the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform and Empowerment Bill (HB No. 468).

In the name of the Alliance,

(sgd)

GIO TINGSON

National Chairperson

GIBBY GORRES

National Secretary-General

Contact Us: +63917.362.7480

www.scapnational.wordpress.com

scap.neb@gmail.com





LEGISLATE STRAW BILL! – mula sa Bicol University League of Democrats

22 03 2011

AN APPEAL TO THE CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES TO LEGISLATE STRAW BILL

The Bicol University League of Democrats, a pro-student electoral party in Bicol University which has been existing for years, in its determined efforts to uphold quality education in the University, is here to give our full support to the Student Rights and Welfare Bill, to be under deliberation in the 15th Congress in June, based on the following rational grounds:

We, in BU-Leaders, as advocates of democracy,  who respect the rule of law and believe in the fundamental rights and freedoms of a person enshrined in the 1987 Constitution, as a right that belongs to all citizens of this nation without discrimination, support the idea that all students from all educational institutions must enjoy freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom to a peaceable assembly and freedom for redress of grievance to proper authorities, whether they are in secondary or college, subject only to limitations set by the law and by reasonable and just policies of the school;

We, in BU-Leaders, who are firm believers in the dogma of majority rule, recognizes the fact the students are the main stakeholders and the lifeblood of every academic institution, propose that their voices should be heard at all times and be given premium importance and they be afforded with mechanisms for their meaningful participation in the policy-making and implementation processes;

We, in BU- Leaders, believe that the primary movers of change within the academe are the students themselves, not teachers, not school administrators, so that we hold all educational institutions responsible in providing for a healthy and free environment for the students in order for them to unleash their flairs and share their knowledge for the improvement of the system of education;

We, in BU- Leaders, always aspire for representation of all stakeholders in school governing bodies so we believe that schools should remain as collegiate bodies where teachers, school and students alike are always represented in major decision-making;

BU-Leaders as a pro-student electoral party, condemn all overt actions of unfair repression of student’s rights and freedoms on irrational or arbitrary grounds;

BU- Leaders, is deeply concerned with the passivity of some students and youth on matters that concern them, which we have observed is partly or mainly attributable to repression of student’s rights and freedoms;

BU- Leaders, is seriously troubled by the palpable asymmetry in terms of rights, freedoms, privileges, discretion, power and authority between the school, teachers and the students which makes the latter capability weaker and school administrators and teachers more overwhelmingly powerful and imposing, so that we want a law to be passed in Congress that will guard their rights and freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution and the law which they can use against the violators of those rights;

BU-leaders, reiterates the need for a system of education that is relevant to the needs of the people and the society (Sec.2 Art. XIV of Constitution); thus, we find the need for the Congress, through an enabling legislation and investigation, to put an end to various acts of suppression of student’s rights and freedoms in order to ensure that education will cater to the needs of its main stakeholders—students;

BU-leaders, sees the perils of the abuse or misapplication of the academic freedoms of schools and teachers, particularly as to the exercise of their right to select whom to admit to study which may have given them the brazenness to discriminate some students and the abused exercise of teacher’s right to the method of teaching to be used which may given them opportunities to require things irrelevant to the course but are only personally beneficial to them; thus, we see the need to draw a clearer  demarcation line between the academic freedom of the school, the students and the teachers by legislating a law that will define the permissible behaviour of the students and a law that will neutralize powers of school and teachers with the students and we recognize the urgency of this matter based on overt and rampant infringements on students’ rights and freedoms as free individuals of this country.

BU-Leaders, together with thousands of students of Bicol University, as concerned citizens of the Philippines and believers in genuine democracy,      push for the enactment of Students’ Rights and Welfare Bill in the 15th Congress deliberation this coming June 2011. We believe that academic freedom of the school should not mean to step on the fundamental rights of a free individual in a free country. We further believe that this is the fundamental step to democratize educational institutions by liberating its main stakeholders– students first.