Solidarity Message to APL-Youth

26 10 2011




October 24, 2011

Quezon City Sports Club


Magandang araw sa mga katipunerong magpapalaya sa bayan!

Mula sa alyansa ng mga konseho ng mag-aaral sa Pilipinas, ang Student Council Alliance of the Philippines [SCAP] ay kasama sa laban ng Alliance of Progressive Labor – Youth [APL Youth] para sa disenteng trabaho ng mga kabataan at ng lahat.

Ang APL Youth bilang isang organisasyon, and I say this very unapologetically, ay isang rebolusyonaryong kilusan ng mga kabataan.  And to be revolutionary in these modern times is difficult.  But let us go back to the basics.

The replacement of global capitalism by a new social order is the minimum of our socialist struggle.  We have to organize society in a different manner.

The threats and the problems that we see today within the very entrenched system of global capitalism simply means that the system does not work.  Thus, there is a need to push ourselves out of the limits being placed by the current system.

Total rejection of capitalism is our call.  In this line, we should not see labor as an isolated struggle.  It is a cross-sectoral struggle within the picture, or dare I say core, of the socialist struggle itself (socio-political, socio-economic and socio-cultural).  The labor struggle strikes the crux of the issues of private property and the capitalist ownership of the mode of production.

I would like to end my message with a quote from Lean Alejandro: “The place of honor is the line of fire”.  Today, comrades, as you deliberate the thrusts of APL-Youth, dare to imagine: where is our place of honor? What is our line of fire?



National Secretary-General

Student Council Alliance of the Philippines


Student councils stand with PALEA, call for PAL boycott this sem-break

15 10 2011

Students councils urge fellow students to boycott PAL this sem-break.



GIBBY GORRES, 09173627480


Student councils stand with PALEA, call for PAL boycott this sem-break

As they take their semestral break, student councils urged their fellow students to boycott Philippine Airlines following a row with the airline’s labor union.  The Student Council Alliance of the Philippines [SCAP] said in a statement that “no one can fly PAL in good conscience as their labor practices endanger young people’s welfare”.

Some 2,000 employees were retrenched by the PAL management favoring an outsourcing scheme for its ground crew.  The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association or PALEA has denounced PAL’s government-backed retrenchment plan labeling it as “fire-at-will employment”.  Members of the labor union have been in a protest camp-out at PAL In-Flight Center near NAIA Terminal 2.

“It is dangerous to fly PAL”, quipped University of the Philippines-Diliman College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Student Council Chairperson JC Tejano.  “The outsourced ground crew is clearly inexperienced and we cannot take reports of mishaps lightly”.  Various flyers on Twitter and Facebook have reported on the difficulty of the PAL ground crew in rendering service.

SCAP has also taken the side of the labor union on the labor row.  “PAL also endangers the welfare of young people in another level: that of taking contractualization and minimal benefits for workers as the norm”, said SCAP National Secretary-General Gibby Gorres.

Gorres pointed out that Malacanang’s stand of allowing the retrenchment plan may serve as precedent on the struggles of labor.  He said that the welfare of young people is at stake when the government fails to see the national welfare in the struggle of PALEA.

“We do not want to enter the labor force where workers are oppressed”, added Gorres.  #


11 10 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 the youth.  One sector that remains a victim of this regressive culture is the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgendered, inter-gendered and queer or the LGBTIQ 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 LGBTIQ 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 LGBTIQ community within the MSU.  ASAP as a genuine pro-student political party sees the security of LGBTIQ 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, VEHEMENTLY CONDEMNS any form of discrimination against any person of whatever gender, nationality or creed and STRONGLY SUPPORTS the Anti-Discrimination Bill filed by Akbayan Representatives Walden Bello and Kaka Bag-ao.

With this call, we give our 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 and the freedom to be in a mutual sexual or emotional relationship with a person of the same sex.
  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 teeming in some reported cases within our academic institutions 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 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.

In light of these points discussed above, discrimination of whatever form has no place in our present society.

Stop the HATE! Legislate the Anti Discrimination Bill NOW.

Student leaders stand up for the RH Bill

6 10 2011
Student Council Alliance of the Philippines National Spokesperson JC Tejano argues that the RH bill proposed budget of P3B is actually an education and health service for all.

Annabel’s RestaurantOctober 6, 2011

A group of student leaders today stand up for the Reproductive Health Bill, calling for legislators to heed the call of reason in the discussion of the bill. The student leaders also challenged anti-RH legislators to a debate in the forum hosted by the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP) and The Forum for Family Planning and Development.
Job de Leon of the Ateneo Debate Society stated:

“The Ateneo Debate Society believes that reproductive health is an essential human right.  We cannot say in good conscience that women must simply accept their fate to bear a fetus.  As an extension of the right to bodily autonomy, individuals should be given greater control over its functions, including the decision to avoid and prevent pregnancies.  Denying them access to fundamental treatment essentially is to deny them a life of better quality”.

Roby Camagong, Chairperson of Alyansayang TAPAT sa Lasallista of DLSU also said:

“I believe that the RH Bill should be passed now because of its universality.  Everyone deserves healthcare, education and right to information, regardless of one’s religious affiliations and political beliefs.

As a matter of fact, it is also supported by the bill of rights Section 5: No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.  The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference shall forever be allowed.

Furthermore, the article explains that there should be no religious barriers when exercising one’s civil or political rights, especially the right to education, information and healthcare.

This argument supports the principle of secularism.  The concept of the separation of church and state wherein our government can assert our right to be free from religious rulings and impositions especially when it comes to policy making.  Political ideas should be unbiased by religious influences because politics includes public reason necessary for legislation and administration unlike religion which should be exclusive for their private lives.

My next point is the religious manifestation of such influence in the youth sector.

As a student from a Catholic university, I can say that there are alot of misconceptions about the bill, one of which is that the RH Bill is anti-life.  This is false because it doesn’t hinder or destroy life but improves the quality of life.  When children are born and left alive to suffer, their dignity is reduced.  Without the RH Bill, the cost is people’s welfare.  Another misconception is that the RH Bill will create a culture of promiscuity.  In line with this, I would like to address the legislators who are against the bill because it may spread promiscuity among young people.  Do you honestly think we cannot handle sex education? How dare you insult our generation!

From the perspective of a secularist in a Catholic university, I believe that the bill was never about religion or sex.  The bill seeks to protect a fundamental human right: the right to decide when and how often one becomes a parent or the right not to be a parent at all.

I strongly believe that the condemnation of the bill due to religious beliefs is the reaction of a medieval mind to reject modern science and reason.  It’s quite ironic since to reject a bill that would help the poor and the marginalized is to be un-Christian”.

Also present during the press conference were Cleo Leogardo, National Affairs Chairperson of the De La Salle University Student Government; Kevin Mandrilla, University of the East Student Council Chairperson; JC Tejano, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Student Council Chairperson of the University of the Philippines-Diliman; Leona Arcellana, Secretary-General of BIGKIS- UP Manila; and Chet Rico, Arts and Sciences Student Council Secretary of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa.


Deputy Speaker Tañada co-authors STRAW Bill; CHTE Chairman Rep. Angara supports legislation securing students’ rights

5 10 2011
05 October 2011
Carlo Brolagda (UP) – +63 917 545 7067
Moses Albiento (ADMU) – +63 915 427 4275

The Coalition for Students’ Rights and Welfare (STRAW Coalition) recently kicked-off its lobbying efforts for the passage of House Bill No. 2190, also known as the STRAW Bill, with a meeting with Aurora Rep. Sonny Angara, Chairman of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education.
Representatives coming from the three of the top Philippine schools attended the said meeting. Students from the University of the Philippines – Diliman, the Ateneo de Manila University, and the De La Salle University discussed the salient points of the STRAW Bill with Angara.
Mickey Eva, Vice Chairperson of the UP Diliman College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Student Council, emphasized that “there is a great need for students’ rights and welfare to be unified in legislation since there is still rampant abuse transpiring amid the existence of constitutionally guaranteed liberties.”
“We still experience discrimination in admission to schools due to gender and other social circumstances and the curtailment of free speech and organization,” according to Eva.
Angara gave his commitment that his Committee will calendar it for a preliminary hearing once the House reconvenes after its upcoming recess. The hearing will be conducted during the latter part of the year or early next year to give room for the Committee to finalize unfinished business such as reporting out bills that were earlier tackled.
The students were also able to get Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada’s signature for his co-authorship of the STRAW Bill. “This is an integral part of our lobbying—to gather the concrete support of our legislators through their co-authorship of House Bill No. 2190,” said STRAW Coalition Spokesperson Carlo Brolagda.
The Coalition plans on taking lobbying to a different level by engaging legislators using social media through its #CoAuthorTheSTRAWBill Campaign. “Deputy Speaker Tañada’s co-authorship will surely jumpstart the gathering of support for the bill,” added Brolagda, “We hope that the other legislators who believe in protecting students’ rights and welfare follow suit.” #
Sinimulan na ng Coalition for Students’ Rights and Welfare (STRAW Coalition) ang kanilang kampanya upang i-lobby ang pagpapasa ng House Bill No. 2190, na mas kilala bilang STRAW Bill, sa pamamagitan ng pagdaos ng pulong kasama si Aurora Rep. Sonny Angara, Chairman ng Committee on Higher and Technical Education ng Kamara.
Dumalo ang mga kinatawan mula sa nabansagang pinakamahuhusay na pamantasan sa Pilipinas sa naturang pulong. Tinalakay ng mga mag-aaral mula sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas – Diliman, Ateneo de Manila University, at De La Salle University ang mahahalagang punto ng STRAW Bill kay Angara.
Binigyang diin ni Mickey Eva, Pangalawang Pangulo ng Sangguniang Mag-aaral ng Kolehiyo ng Agham Panlipunan at Pilosopiya ng UP Diliman, na “may malaking pangangailangan upang ang karapatan at kapakanan ng mga mag-aaral ay maibuklod sa isang batas dahil sa patuloy na abusong nagaganap kahit pa may mga kalayaang nakasaad na sa Konstitusyon.”
“Nararanasan pa rin natin ang diskriminasyon sa pagtanggap sa mga paaralan dahil sa kasarian at iba pang dahilan at ang pagbusal sa malayang pamamahayag at pagbubuo ng samahan,” ayon kay Eva.
Ibinigay ng Angara ang kanyang pangako na tatalakayin ng kanyang Komite ang panukalang batas kapag nakabalik na mula sa recess ang Kamara. Ang pulong ay magaganap sa dulong bahagi ng taon o sa simula ng susunod na taon upang magbigay daan sa Komite para tugunan ang iba pang nauna nang mga panukala sa adyenda nito.
Nagtagumpay rin ang mga mag-aaral na makuha ang lagda ni Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada para maging co-author ng STRAW Bill. “Isa itong integral na bahagi ng aming lobbying—ang makakuha ng kongkretong suporta mula sa mga mambabatas sa pamamagitan co-authorship ng House Bill No. 2190,” ani STRAW Coalition Spokesperson Carlo Brolagda.
Plano ng STRAW Coalition na iangat ang antas ng lobbying sa pagpukaw ng interes ng mga mambabatas gamit ang social media. Partikular na rito ang paglulunsad nila ng #CoAuthorTheSTRAWBill Campaign. “Ang pirma ni Deputy Speaker Tañada bilang co-author ay tunay na makakatulong sa pagpapalawig ng pagtataguyod ng panukalang ito,” dagdag ni Brolagda, “Nawa’y sumunod na rin ang suporta ng iba pang mga mambabatas na naniniwala sa pagtatanggol sa karapatan at kapakanan ng mga mag-aaral.” #