University Student Council and College Student Councils exchanged views and opinions whether or not they should take a stand after DLSU-D AB Communication student Caitlin Alana Medenilla expressed her disappointment in a Facebook post on September 20 regarding the said councils’ inaction on the 45th anniversary of the Martial Law declaration and other national issues such as extrajudicial killings.
Medenilla’s Facebook post addressing the USC and CSCs, which has already gathered more than a hundred comments with both opposing and approving sentiments states, “Wala kayong bayag para magpahayag ng inyong mga saloobin patungkol sa mga nagaganap sa ating bansa. Naturingang mga student leaders, mga wala namang voice.”
Medenilla turned to the social media site after the irresponsiveness of the USC and the defense of “conflict of interest” by a College of Liberal Arts and Communication Student Council member, the netizen’s college, on the issue of having a stance on the tyranny caused by Martial Law.
Within 24 hours, the Facebook post reached the attention of several CSCs where USC 2017-2018 President Israel Pajarillo commented that “Social media isn’t a proper venue to discuss issues” and added that he is willing to meet the Medenilla in person.
“Resorting your concerns through the use of social media as a platform would not yield results rather proper cooperation with stakeholders would be best. If you a see a problem with the system you can just tell us your concerns and not directly attack a person or a student organization,” Pajarillo stated.
Meanwhile, according to the netizen, she is willing to accept any invitations from the USC for a discussion and even suggested that a public forum is a better way to hear out concerns not only from her but the rest of the student population. However, the USC has yet to reach out to the user.
On the other hand, one DLSU-D student who commented on their failure to fulfill the responsibilities of the USC according to the DLSU-D 2014-2018 Student Handbook Section 18.1.c., which states, “It [USC] is an active agent in promoting national awareness and consciousness among the students in the university,” and Section 18.1.e., “It [USC] fosters an atmosphere where critical thinking prevails.”
Pajarillo mentioned that the USC is still establishing an understanding with the school administration in order to get their support in participating in national issues. He also added that the USC has planned to organize a forum or “kapihan” with the Lasallian Community Development Center that would address issues inside and outside the campus.
SCs Facebook pages
The Facebook post also stated how the CSCs and USC are “more focused” on promoting their events and seminars online rather than sharing their stance on the critical issue of Martial Law.
“Puro kayo pubs sa events niyo. Pero isang post lang naman ng nagsasabi na kayo’y nagbibigay suporta o hindi,” the post reads.
Approximately nine hours after the Facebook post, the College of Liberal Arts and Communication Student Council posted their stance on their Facebook page which reads, “The Executive and Legislative Board of the College of Liberal Arts and Communication Student Council, the highest student-governing body of the College of Liberal Arts and Communication in De La Salle University–Dasmariñas, calls for a collective action to #StopTheKillings and #StartTheHealing of the scars brought by the 1972 Martial Law and to say #NeverAgain to the currently alarming threat of dictatorship and tyranny in our country.”
The College of Business Administration and Accountancy Student Council also posted a statement on Facebook regarding the 45th anniversary of Martial Law. The Facebook post says, “It’s been 45 years and let us #NeverForget the scars it left our fellow citizens and #NeverAgain say yes to dictatorship and tyranny.”
Meanwhile, the USC’s Facebook page posted an invite to attend a mass to commemorate the Martial Law’s 45th anniversary. On the other hand, the rest of the CSCs have not yet posted anything regarding the matter.
In an interview with HERALDO FILIPINO, despite negative reactions, the Facebook user says she’s happy that a lot of Lasallians who are afraid to speak out broke their silence after reading her post.
“If it weren’t for my posts, lots of DLSU-D students wouldn’t want to express their opinions regarding the issue. I’ve been hearing lots of rants from students, but they’re just afraid to voice it out. I’m so happy that I became a medium,” she said.
She furthered that people would come to realize that people or SCs shouldn’t side on neutrality. “The SCs should lead us, the DLSU-D students, in fighting tyranny and corruption,” the netizen added.
As of press time, the publication is reaching the SCs to share their official stance and response to the matter at hand.