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

Advertisements

Actions

Information

One response

4 12 2012
meca rushidy m. magadia

mag msuans gumising tau sa katotohanan maging activista at lomahok sa kalayaan at karapan dahil sinisira lamang ng masasamang loob ang ating pinag aralan kaya dapat lumaban.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: