In its latest tirade against UP Diliman University Student Council Chairperson Sindayen (published in today’s issue of the Phil. Daily Inquirer in the LTTE section), a certain political minority faction in UP Diliman has claimed that there is a ‘shadow of doubt’ plaguing him due to his ‘academic delinquency’.
However, Sindayen and former Student Regent Co, as two of the most active conveners of the UP Kilos na Laban sa Budget Cut alliance, were able to convince thousands of Diliman students, faculty, and employees (as well as thousands more in other schools) to join the historic strikes last November. Who is questioning Sindayen’s (and Co’s) legitimacy? Certainly not the thousands of strikers. Certainly not the 100 youth organizations and campus institutions of Kilos Na which welcomed them (him and Co) into their fold. Certainly not the seven Diliman deans who endorsed the strike. Certainly not our new UP President Fred Pascual. Only one faction in the entire Campus did: and they keep on insisting that their handful represents the entire Diliman community.
Twice, this non-issue was dismissed by the USC General Assembly precisely because their charge against Sindayen had no basis in the USC Constitution. The minority faction is using the Student Election guidelines as their basis, forgetting that the Elections are over and that Sindayen has already been elected, thus putting him under the USC Constitution. No less than former UP College of Law Dean Raul Pangalanan has said this. It can be said that the minority faction is truly ‘making a mountain out of a molehill’.
With the law absent in their side, the minority faction is raising the specter of ‘admin intervention’ in the various affairs and campaigns of the USC. They should know: for in Diliman history, this minority faction has always served as the student arm of admin intervention against progressive campaigns and movements, such as the present anti-budget cut campaign which this faction has been conspicously absent.
When the rest of the UP Community was calling for the scrapping of the then-proposed 300% Tuition and Other Fee Increase back in 2006, this faction urged us not to call for the junking of the proposal, calling it ‘timely’. It was also the same grouplet which attempted to block the first post-TOFI University Student Council from drafting a stand against the increase in June 2007. They were also the ones who attempted to shut down the Office of the Student Regent through a referendum back in 2009. Since time immemorial, this is the same faction which was absent from the annual campus campaign calling for greater state subsidy for our University. Their token delegate in the November strikes is the first ever time since the grouplet’s founding in 2001.
When this faction insists that Sindayen’s academic standing is paving the way for administration (whether campus or national) intervention in the Council’s affairs, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yes, there is an attempt at intervention: their call for Sindayen to resign is the act of intervention itself.