AMID the illegal gambling and wiretapping scandals hounding the Macapagal-Arroyo administration, Rector Fr. Tamerlane Lana, O.P. called on Thomasians to use reason, cautioning against being easily swayed by public opinion.

“Keep an open mind, try to be vigilant and reflect deeper on the meaning of the events happening,” the Rector said. “Use reason and give yourself time to really see the truth.”

In recent weeks, the First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, Pampanga Rep. Mikey Arroyo, and Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio Arroyo have been implicated in illegal gambling, while the President is accused of electoral fraud.

According to Lana, an attempt to arrest the problem through another EDSA revolution would be fruitless this time because the common people have become cynical about popular uprisings.

“The masa are already tired,” he told the Varsitarian. “After two events, nothing has dramatically changed.”

In 1986 and 2001, the country resorted to people power revolutions to unseat presidents who had been perceived to be corrupt.

It may be recalled that in 2001, the University actively participated in EDSA II. But now, it is unlikely that UST will support another EDSA Revolution. Lana said it is about time to search for another way toward change.

Meanwhile, Vice-Rector for Religious Affairs Fr. Rodel Aligan, O.P., urged Thomasians to keep themselves informed of the current events and take sides on the basis of morality.

“Research on the background of these people (President Macapagal-Arroyo and her detractors) and reflect on what they say,” Aligan told the Varsitarian. “Have a grasp of ethics and morality.”

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Meanwhile, Caloocan City Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez called on Filipinos to have a better grasp of the situation in order to spur the proper changes.

“Kailangan natin ng malawakang paguunawa sa mga nagyayari, kasi kung hindi magiging mababaw and mga solusyon,” the Thomasian bishop said during an Ecumenical Council of Churches of the Philippines forum at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex seminar rooms last June 16.

A forum resource person, Dr. Benito Lim, a political analyst, said a popular uprising at this time is misplaced since the people have divided perceptions on the matter.

“We can only persuade President Macapagal-Arroyo to step down when we have gathered the sentiments of the people (and there is already) a concrete plan to solve the problems of the government (under) a new leader who has the capacity to implement the plan,” he said. April Dawn Jennifer Adriatico and Marlene H. Elmenzo

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