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why was erap in the rally?

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  • krizna gomez
    I believe I have answered this question of Berts, but I will say it again now for the sake of all who may validly ask. When news of Estrada going to the rally
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2008
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      I believe I have answered this question of Berts, but I will say it again now for the sake of all who may validly ask.


      When news of Estrada going to the rally came out the night before the prayer rally, we were all shocked and disappointed. I have been attending the meetings in Loyola for the Ateneo community's preparation for this rally, and the representatives of the entire Ateneo community in turn have been very much active in the planning and finalization of the program of the whole rally. Both Sanggu representatives and the administration leaders of the Loyola have been active and careful in ensuring that Ateneo's stand and specific concerns are very well represented the same way that all the other civil society groups are.


      During the first meeting at the IBP, with numerous representatives from all the participating churches and groups in attendance, it was agreed upon and announced that NO POLITICIANS WOULD BE ALLOWED ON STAGE- that should they attend the rally, as they or no other person can be validly prevented from joining, they will not be allowed to speak, precisely because this was supposed to be an action by the ordinary, private citizens. It was going to be an INTERFAITH PRAYER RALLY FOR TRUTH, ACCOUNTABILITY AND REFORM.


      During the final meeting of the program committee the day before the rally, which was attended again by the Ateneo Loyola representatives, the issue of Erap's attendance was raised. The religious threatened to walk out should he attend. So to prevent any kind of divisiveness in the rally which main objective was precisely to unite all in the common call for truth, accountability and reform regardless of their own individual stand regarding the issue of resignation, certain leaders close to Erap were asked to personally ask him to just not attend at all. Nevertheless, this issue was DEFINITIVELY RESOLVED- HE WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED ON STAGE. Mayor Binay himself, who was aware of the entire process of decision-making by all the groups, said in his interview on TV the morning of the rally that neither Cory nor Erap will speak. 


      We confirmed this information with the program committee itself the night before and right before the rally, in recognition and careful safeguarding of the concern of every Ateneo law student, including ourselves, that we will be going to the kind of rally that we envisioned to be taking part in. An encouraging number of students were expressing their desire to go, in eagerness to finally be able to represent the true call of the Ateneo Law School student body, and for once to unite our stand with the rest of the Ateneo community. And our Ateneo Loyola representatives, echoing exactly what was agreed upon in the meeting, assured us of it.   


      We are as disappointed and scandalized by this sudden and unexplained event. The Ateneo contingent, consisting of the Loyola community, the Jesuit priests and religious, alumni, partner NGOs, and the Ateneo Law School students and lawyers, were even shouting for him to get out of the stage. Some did even walk out. Leaders from the Loyola administration were just as scandalized.


      We went room-to-room knowing what we all stood for and under the genuine belief of what was what we thought in honor was agreed upon by all the rally organizers, and the 60 or so Ateneo Law School contingent marched along with thousands of other students, priests, and nuns from Don Bosco to Ayala fired up and eager to take part in calling for genuine change- a march to resolve the issues, and not to center, not the least even mention, any personalities. The 15,000 or so who came from Don Bosco, who were inspired by the precise turn-out of the nature of the march (prior to the program in Ayala), could attest to this.


      We are as tired of being misrepresented beginning here in school. We would never even think of doing the same to our friends and fellow students whose true voice we genuinely valued and to the best of our efforts sought to protect. Ganito na nga siguro talaga ang pulitika sa Pilipinas. Nawala na ang konsepto ng isang salita.


      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Alberto Pamintuan <bertspamintuan@...>
      To: ateneolaw2009@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, March 2, 2008 3:14:58 AM
      Subject: Re: [ateneolaw2009] Paumanhin at Salamat, Ateneo.

      as one blogger put it:
      A prayer rally? "Dear Lord, oh God, Give me a true Opposition not these hypocrites, not these trapos, not these crooks. Not these schnooks who think they're patriots. Amen".

      It was also said during the "room-to-room" that the rally wasn't supposed to be personality based. Why were there politicos on stage?? Why the hell was ERAP on stage???

      On Sun, Mar 2, 2008 at 2:58 AM, Rafael Calinisan <rafael_calinisan@ yahoo.com> wrote:

      I would like to apologize to Ms. Ona Caritos, the Human Rights Family and to any Atenean that I may have offended yesterday during the Interfaith Rally..
      The night prior to the rally, Ms. Caritos, 6 HR Interns and I were in a meeting to discuss logistical matters.   In that meeting, I disclosed to them that the LSGCC, the newly formed coordinating body of the student councils of Ateneo, UP, UST, UE and FEU-La Salle, of which I am the sitting chair, was invited to speak during the rally for 3 minutes on stage.  To my surprise, Ms. Caritos and the 6 HR Interns strongly requested me neither to speak nor be on stage with the other law school presidents when the LSGCC is called. 
      This is because "Busina", the group mobilizing the Ateneo Community for the interfaith rally is not calling for resignation but only for truth, accountability and reform.  Since I was already associated with the resign calls of GMA, even if I still am calling for truth, accountability and reform, they reasoned that my actions there might be construed to mean that the whole Ateneo Community is calling for resignation as well.  Furthermore, the HR Interns who went room to room to invite people to the rally had already made it clear to the students and assured them that while there might be other groups calling for resignation in the rally, "Busina" and the Ateneo contingent, whom they will be joining, are not for resignation.
      Ideas were exchanged, followed by a one on one talk between Ms. Caritos and me.  After which, I gave them my word that I will not speak during the rally.  Mabigat.  Kasi ako ang pinagkatiwalaan ng 4 pang Student Councils to serve as their leader.  Mabigat kasi that move would weaken or destroy the moral of that organization, and at the same time it might put Ateneo law in a bad light in the eyes of the other law schools.  Mabigat since I was wearing two hats and had two opposing responsibilities. It was hard to explain where I was coming from.  But for the Ateneo Community, I agreed.
      Previously, the student councils in each of the schools above mentioned took the position that GMA should resign.  The Ateneo Law SC also agreed to take the same position, alongside the call for truth, accountability and reform.  The LSGCC as the coordinating body of the law schools took the same position which includes the call for truth, accountability and reform.  That was made clear each time the SC presidents were asked to comment in the media.
      The only time all the presidents were free for a meeting was moments before the rally itself,  backstage.  It was then that I informed them that I will not speak on stage.  Understandably, they all got angry at me, since they cannot comprehend where I was coming from - that for the sake of the Ateneo Community, I chose to keep quiet for that day.  They honestly did not expect that from me. I felt then that the good name of the Ateneo and the relationship that we have established with the other law schools was put in question.  In their eyes, the chair of the LSGCC should be one with the other law school presidents.  That malabo si Ateneo.  That I chickened out, of all people.
      I was called names in that meeting.  Pero ok na lang.  Ang dami nilang ipinakiusap, but I still did not agree, keeping in mind that I gave my word to Ms. Caritos and to the 6 others in the LSAC to keep silent.  Ang huling pakiusap ng mga presidente was for me to just introduce the group, and then keep quiet and they will do the talking.  Content neutral.  Pangit kasi kung kulang.  At yung chair pa yung wala.  Still, I did not agree.  It was then the LSGCC was called on stage.  Our names were called one by one by the emcee.  All the presidents went up the stairs to the stage.  I stayed in the steps..  I DID NOT GO ON STAGE.  I decided to just watch from the staircase.
      Obviously, I did not introduce the group.  UST did.  Naiba yung flow.  All four presidents talked on stage and already said everything that needs to be communicated.  Ubos na ang mga dapat sabihin and the 3 minutes already lapsed.  Tapos na dapat.  It was then when UP mentioned my name again on stage and asked me to go up front and speak.  I waved them off.  UST and UE called my name again.  And by that time everyone, those on stage and those around me, were already looking at me with questioning stares.  The organizer beside me then asked me 'bakit di ka pa umakyat'?  Dead air.  And yes, that was when I went up front.  I said that the Ateneo is for truth, accountability and reform.  And I chanted the group's name.  And said thank you.
      I am issuing this email even if the regular Ateneo student probably does not know about this incident because I feel bad about this matter.  I feel bad not because nanindigan ako, but because I felt that I might have inadvertently offended the sensibilities of some, especially Ona and the HR  - People that matter.  Ona, those who have worked with me, and those closest to me know that I operate on one word:  TRUST.  I expect that from the people I deal with, for they know my word can be trusted.  Sorry to those whom I may have offended.  I did not betray you.  I am sorry Ona for unintentionally hurting you.  I truly understand where you are coming from.  Sana naiintindihan mo din ang sitwasyon ko.  No excuses though.  I take full responsibility.  I sincerely apologize for that.  Ako po ang nagkamali.
      On another note, it was a dream of mine even years back for the Ateneo to take a position and an active role on matters of national significance.  Not just to be confined to books or personal concerns.  Not just to sit on the fence.  But to be aware and to be responsive to the call of the times.  To tread the straight, narrow and lonely path if need be.  Na manindigan naman.  To change the perspective of those around us: that we simply choose to be quiet or choose what's convenient.
      In my conscience I can say to each and every Atenean that I tried to be a good leader to all.  To follow the right processes in each of my dealings.  To do what is right, even if unpopular.  Demokratiko kami sa SC.  Sometimes even to a fault.
      I know I have my misgivings too, both in my personal and SC life.  But please do not shoot the messenger.  I just wish that we go beyond ourselves, our interests, and see also the reality outside the walls of Rockwell.  I have lent my voice, hoping to inspire the youth, to the point that I have already forgotten to some extent my duties as a student.  That is how much I believe in this issue.  Nanindigan na ako. Tayo ang mga ate at kuya ng kabataan ngayon.  Sana magtulungan na lang tayo lahat.  Magkakampi naman talaga tayong lahat kung iisipin ninyo.
      Salamat sa pagkakataong maglingkod.

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