Statement of the University Council of UP Manila on the Current Political Crisis
We, the faculty of the University of the Philippines Manila, composed of Professors, Associate Professors and Assistant Professors, recognizing the important task of fulfilling our responsibility to the Filipino people, hereby express our views and stand on the “Gloriagate” scandal.
We believe that the pursuit of truth and the quest for a democratic society are integral to the University’s mission in society. In the conduct of its work, we are guided by the paramount values of honesty, personal integrity, and social accountability, particularly for those of us who work in government.
We believe that the exemplary role of leaders, who should be models of integrity in all aspects and dimensions of life, cannot be taken for granted. That President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made the calls to Commissioner Garcillano constitutes a grave violation of our Constitution to which she swore to preserve, defend, and execute faithfully. In particular, she violated a provision of the Constitution (Article IX, Section 1) that guarantees the independence of the COMELEC.
We strongly believe that as the highest public official of the land, President Arroyo should serve as a model of accountability for her actions. We therefore support any and all measures within the framework of our Constitution (including resignation and impeachment) to make, not only President Arroyo, but all other erring public officials as well, accountable for betraying the public trust
The political crisis that we are now experiencing is but a manifestation of a social cancer that has devoured our weak nation. The cancer that is patronage politics originates from a social system that continues to be unequal and unjust. The powerful and wealthy bureaucrats, who run the government like a business to further enrich themselves and protect their wealth, have to maintain their cronies and patrons. It is this same political patronage system that has allowed a dictatorship to rule our country for 20 years and has given the Presidency and other high public offices to incompetent persons based on popularity alone. Not even a change in our Constitution (Cha-Cha) can resolve this political crisis or uplift the conditions of our people for as long as we continue to elect public officials who protect their own self-interests instead of aligning with the true aspirations of our people.
We join and urge the Filipino people to reflect and re-examine our values in working for a truly responsible and people-oriented government and building a just, democratic and progressive society.
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in August 18th 2005