Mar 25, 2008

Mea Culpa, Politico

What I am posting here is the statement of the De La Salle University Council of Editors 2008 dated March 18 2008 and published in Sandiwa volume 3. The statement is a condemnation of the way that the candidates in the DLSU General Elections made themselves look less like Lasallians and more like the trapos I so love to loathe by treating Lasallian voters as PBB texters rather than mature and politically-aware citizens. On a side note, it makes me proud to say that my personal statement against the trapo-like behavior of some candidates (definitely less polished than the CoE version... hey, an angry man is a reckless man ^_^\/) came out 9 days before. I sincerely hope that it was my statement that sparked something in the press... that would definitively show the power of a single voice speaking out against something that is blatantly wrong in the world.

Saludo ako, mga Lasalyanong mamamahayag! Ipagpatuloy ninyo ang laban para sa makabuluhang eleksyon sa La Salle! Ipagpatuloy ninyo ang laban para sa makabuluhang pagbabago sa bansa! Mabuhay kayong lahat!

Prelude to Corruption
by DLSU-Manila Council of Editors
(The LaSallian, Ang Pahayagang Plaridel, Malate Literary Folio, Green & White)
This is to formally denounce the imprudent practices of supposedly esteemed student leaders and political parties during the recently concluded Student Council General Elections. The times are such that we must question what little significance is left in the kind of leadership that they offer.
How can we possibly relish the thought of fighting for the truth and criticizing the credibility of our government when we breed perpetrators of hypocrisy under our own nose? Seeing that the young would eventually replace the old, we are disturbed by the thought that this delinquent campus culture, characterized by much idiocy and immaturity, will be carried over to the next stages of our generation.
The subjectivity of truth, or rather, confused notions of what the truth should be, became a basis for quite a number of verbal and written attacks aimed at different student publications. The word "bias" has been thrown around so carelessly, without judgment and reason, so that the very concept it represents has been watered down into a mere facsimile of what it originally meant. Whenever something contrary to what any particular party believes in is published, the initial result is an outbreak of faulty claims seeking to nullify the veracity of the statements. Does it not follow that such a defensive stance speaks of the immaturity with which the situation is dealt with? What are we to do with a political culture that seeks to turn every miniscule scratch into a bullet wound?
Should political parties wish to limit the coverage of writing for the sole purpose of prettifying their public image, and prohibit campus journalists from interpreting documented facts in their article, then they should scrap their prevailing ideologies at once and admit that they are primarily fascists. The problem lies in the misconception of the principle of "balance". Nowhere in our rational mind can we imagine that balance is equivalent to the absence of analysis. What these groups are proposing is that campus journalists should limit their function to the clerical task of transcribing events as they happen. But is the suggestion authoritarian, or ignorant?
If our leaders tend to resent too much about not having been portrayed in a way that would gratify their narcissistic needs, then it only reveals the inherent pretentiousness of their agenda. But who are we to blame, when the course of the general elections was entirely about that? That campaign speeches and debates degenerate into wretched comedy and failed entertainment reveal little comprehension about important social issues. At the very least, the conspicuously superficial seriousness exhibited by the candidates merely provokes laughter instead of respect. We fail to penetrate the roots of our problems because much attention is given to theatrical effects. And perhaps the memorized speeches are just tactics of building a strategic distance between the speaker and the audience, to prevent confronting difficult questions. The culmination of all these is an exhibition where the two parties, in a verbal warfare that reveals traces of uncivilized conduct, seem to display a predilection for embarrassment, where non-partisan spectators are even the ones who get embarrassed by the apparent vulgarity (that is, if the miting de avance has any other spectator at all other than party members).
Precisely what these false ambassadors of integrity preach when they take the floor to condemn the other party is the claim of having a monopoly on truth without invoking the power of reason, as though they have been tasked by some divine authority. We cannot help but believe that the filth of our national political condition has trickled down and infiltrated our institution. Facts are no longer a major consideration. Vision is not important. Only propaganda matters. How then do student leaders differ from morally misguided public servants? Is it fair to condemn a morally bankrupt government when, as a community, we have a shortage of virtues? Let us therefore remember the biblical wisdom of removing the mote in our own eye before removing the plank in the eye of another person. For this reason, we invite all student sectors and the student body to join our protest against this long-standing juvenile campus politics, against immaturity in student leadership and service, and against falsehood passing itself off as reality.
May no student organization or unit unjustly exempt itself from this indictment.

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