WHILE University administrators are apparently united in calling for a “Truth Commission” to resolve the national crisis, UST student leaders are at logger heads regarding which stand to make.

A group of UST students held a lightning rally last Monday in front of the University’s España gate, calling for President Macapagal-Arroyo’s resignation.

“This is the true voice of the students. What the Central Student Council (CSC) published is just the stand of CSC president John Voltaire Almeda. He did not even consult any group,” said Glenn Romano, Youth Demanding Arroyo’s Removal (YOUTH DARE) member and secretary general of Alliance for Concerned Thomasians (ACT-NOW!), referring to an earlier document released by the CSC.

Last July 7, the CSC distributed to various colleges, faculties, administrative offices and departments including the Varsitarian its stand calling for all the “Garcillano” tapes to be played and the exercise of due process.

But Faculty of Medicine and Surgery student council president Brian Christopher Nocon said the CSC’s Central Board, composed of student council presidents from the different colleges and faculties, was not consulted on the matter.

Almeda’s act according to Nocon, violated Article IV, Section 3 of the CSC Constitution, to wit, “the executive board with the Central Board shall define the position of the CSC on vital and highly controversial issues such as, but not limited to… conduction of University-wide rallies, as well as issues of national concern.”

Almeda told the Varsitarian that the statement was meant to inform the students of the stand of the CSC’s executive board and not to represent the whole student body.

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“Being the executive board, the students expect a statement from us. And due to the urgency of the matter we could not just wait for the stand of all colleges before we issue a statement,” Almeda said.

Nocon said the Central Board will soon release a statement on the scandal.

Meanwhile, Youth Dare UST said the President would only be pressured to step down through street protests.

“We have to exercise our right to peaceably assemble and to express our freedom of speech to pressure the President because she will not resign on her own volition. We have to make her resign and make her realize that the best way out is resignation,” Romano said.

The protest group, composed of roughly 50 students, occupied almost two lanes of the street and urged jeepney drivers to join their cause. The demonstration lasted for 30 minutes.

Political Science Forum President Lucky Aranas said the group will hold more protests in the days to come.

Aranas said the Political Science forum will be supporting either the constitutional successor if the President resigns or a transition government. Romano, however, only called for a transition government.

Among the member organizations of the Youth Dare UST chapter are: Political Science Forum, Student’s Democratic Party, Grand Alliance for Progress, Sociology Society, KARATULA-UST, Alliance of Law Students for the Advancement of Nationalism, ACT NOW!, Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights, and Anakbayan-UST chapter.


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