In a rare gesture, more than 1,000 former members of the different student councils of the University of the Philippines – Diliman have come together to express their support for Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan in their bid for the top positions in government.
The statement reads:
“We, former members of the UNIVERSITY STUDENT COUNCIL and COLLEGE STUDENT COUNCILS of the UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES – DILIMAN, declare our support for Vice President LENI ROBREDO and Senator KIKO PANGILINAN in their bid to become the next President and Vice President of our country.
“HONOR AND EXCELLENCE. As fellow UP alumni, Vice President Robredo from the School of Economics and Senator Kiko Pangilinan from the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Law, both exemplify this common creed of Iskolars ng Bayan. In our fight against injustice and incompetence in public service, we need President Robredo and Vice President Pangilinan at the helm.
“During our respective tenures in the student council, we would find ourselves at odds with one another due to different political lines. However, there are times when we can set aside our differences, especially when the people’s interest is at stake. This is one of those times: when children of dictators are inching their way towards Malacañang to bastardize our history and continue the legacies of corruption and impunity of their fathers; when misogynists are trying to undermine competence and are selfishly calling for our genuine chance in having a people-centric government to step aside in favor of their own interests. We stand together to say that we cannot allow this to pass.
“We come from different generations and political affiliations, yet we now stand united because we are bound by a movement born and shaped by our continuing struggle for justice and democracy. With this, we will not allow the gains after the fall of the Marcos dictatorship to be erased. This is why we have come together to support a Robredo-Pangilinan victory in the coming elections.
“Iskolar ng Bayan — noon, ngayon, at magpakailanman, LUMALABAN! Tumitindig kasama si Leni at Kiko para iangat ang bayan!”
In a statement to the media, the UP student council alumni also called on their fellow Iskolars ng Bayan to actively campaign for Robredo and Pangilinan and share the values of democracy and human rights.
They also asked the UP community to wear pink on the May 1 UAAP game of the UP Fighting Maroons men’s basketball team.
“Looking back, looking forward”
Student council elections in the university tend to become heated due to the rivalries of political parties, but in this instance, their alumni have found common ground.
Signatories come from different generations of UP student leaders, either affiliated with political parties or independents.
These include alumni who served in the student council as far back as the 1950s up to the 2020s.
The university has been known to be a bastion of activism and free speech, which is why its students were at the forefront in the fighting against Martial Law and the Marcos dictatorship.
Their campus was the site of the Diliman Commune in 1971, where students, faculty members, and other members of the community led an uprising together with transport workers in protest of the rising price of oil and the deteriorating situation of the country under the rule of then President Ferdinand Marcos.