The caricature attached to the would-be ‘diploma’ given to me by my lowerclassmen during this afternoon’s Tribute and Send-Off Party to the Graduating Class of 2013 of the Department of Legal Studies. It actually bears the name of the office which I held in the Student Council for four years. :)) #HappyAndThankful #UndergraduateThoughtfulness
While reading the editorial section of the latest issue of the White & Blue, a particular article caught my attention. It was entitled, ‘Public Apologies’ by Karen Joy Bangibang.
I am dazzled by the writer’s courage to publicly apologize for an article she wrote in the paper’s August issue (Election Issue) entitled ‘True Colors’, asking for apology for the people that she may have hurt indirectly, depending on the readers’ interpretation of the metaphors and for the misunderstanding it may have caused, including the alleged impact and impression that it may have sent to the electorates during the previous elections (assuming it had).
I personally think though, that contrary to her detractor’s statements that the paper was used to campaign for or against a particular political party, thereby blatantly violating certain provisions of the KASAMA/SSC Omnibus Election Code, the article is just, like any other editorial article, an avenue where the writer expressed her opinion about what was happening to the Student Council governance in the University. The only different perhaps may be that the writer used too many metaphors, which gave the readers and several other people, varying interpretation from the very context which the writer wanted to tell to her readers.
I have always been taught that freedom of expression is a cornerstone of democratic rights and freedoms. It is essential in enabling democracy to work and public participation in decision-making. The right to freedom of expression upholds the rights of all to express their views and opinions freely. It is essentially a right which should be promoted to the maximum extent possible given its critical role in democracy and public participation in political life.
The students cannot exercise their right to vote effectively or take part in public decision-making if they do not have free access to information and ideas and are not able to express their views freely. Freedom of expression is thus not only important for individual dignity but also to participation, accountability and democracy.
I may be hurting other friends in the Council, of which I am part, by these statements, by my opinion. But it is my impression that the writer merely expressed her opinion, which she is fundamentally entitled to. As the writer stated in her article, ‘Do not underestimate the voters. They can see beyond the colors.’
“Journalists are not storytellers or novelists who may just spin tales out of fevered imaginings, and pass them off as reality. There must be some foundation to their reports; these reports must be warranted by facts.” (Tulfo v. People of the Philippines, GR No. 161032, September 16, 2008)
Cheers to Karen and to the White and Blue! :)
The greatest lesson I’ve learned from my mentors in the Scouting movement, from my Outfit Advisor, the late Maximo G. Venzon, LT and my former Council Scout Executive, the late Alberto C. Baviera, Jr., LT is that, as a leader, always make sure that your actions inspire others to dream more, to learn more, to do more and to become more.
Wherever both of you are, I hope I have made you proud. To you Sirs, I render my utmost respect and my unfeigned salute.
When we read the newspapers, watch the broadcasts, soak up the stories, we find ourselves repressed, depressed and confused. We find ourselves envious, anxious, angry and fearful. If we believe all that is circulated by the media we become loyal supporters of the oppressors, passionate haters of the innocents, faithful believers of unwarranted information and puppets of evil.
Mind management is greater than necessary. I believe it is wise to question all that we are told. If we give our time to all that is spoon fed to us, we allow our minds to be hooked, hot wired, taken from us, remotely controlled.
I look around and everywhere I see stewing or stewed, fermented, tormented souls and marinated morons… and then I see you, precious few… You, who reconsiders… You, who questions the credibility of a story… You, who never forgets that there are always at least two sides… You, who feels before you think and thinks before you speak.
Beautiful you, who wonders, who looks with wide open eyes, an open heart, an open mind. You, who wanders from the crowd and who seeks something which feels true.