CMCSC candidates debate on freshie council autonomy

Clashing responses on the autonomy of the Freshies, Shiftees and Transferees (FST) Council left students with more questions than answers at last night’s Hot Off the Grill, the official miting de avance of the College of Mass Communication.

By Shara Cayetano

Clashing responses on the autonomy of the Freshies, Shiftees and Transferees (FST) Council left students with more questions than answers at last night’s Hot Off the Grill, the official miting de avance of the College of Mass Communication (CMC).  

Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP CMC (STAND UP CMC) chairperson candidate Beata Carolino said that the FST Council is autonomous and independent, and should remain so.

Sila yung talagang nakakaalam kung ano yung nangyayari sa environment (nila). Guided sila (ng student council) pero hindi ibig sabihin binibigyan sila ng mandate ng student council (They are the ones who know what is really happening in their environment. They are guided by the student council but that doesn’t mean they will be given mandates),” Carolino said.

ISA and STAND UP-CMC face off in Thursday's Hot Off. Photo by Ferb Martinez
ISA and STAND UP-CMC face off in Thursday’s Hot Off. Photo by Ferb Martinez

However, Interdependent Student-centered Activism (CMC ISA) chairperson candidate Mari Arambulo defended the incumbent council, saying that the FST Council’s non-autonomy doesn’t strip them of their freedom. She asserted that making the FST Council autonomous would create an overlap in roles, since the latter’s role is solely to help new CMC students make the transition into the MassComm community.

Nandoon ang SC para i-guide sila; mas may experience (ang SC). Kapag naging independent yan, kailangan ng sariling constitution (The student council is there to guide them, they have more experience),” said Arambulo.

The issue came up when some FST Council members complained about the policies imposed on them by the incumbent CMC student council (CMCSC).

STAND UP and ISA proposed varying plans for the FSTs next year, with ISA focusing on batch projects and STAND UP focusing on educational discussions.

Differing views on defining activism also prevailed in last night’s talks, already an age-old debate between the parties. CMC ISA is pushing for student-centered activism, believing that there are different forms of activism people can pursue. STAND UP, on the other hand, asserts that student mobilization is the most effective means of achieving change.

Both parties, however, said they put a premium on student consultations and for representation.

The campaign period officially ends on Wednesday, 5 pm. Elections are set on Thursday, February 27, from 8 am to 7 pm. 

(This article was earlier published in Botong Isko 2014, Tinig ng Plaridel’s special election primer. Read it here.) 


For full disclosure, candidates who are part of the Tinig ng Plaridel staff have been asked to file a leave of absence from their duties to the publication from Feb. 3 to 27. Carolino, Calanog, Gloria, Reysio-Cruz and Jordan have taken a temporary leave.

Announcement from the Editor-in-Chief (Botong Isko 2014)

Staff members of the Tinig ng Plaridel (TNP) editorial board and its sections who wish to participate in the 2014 university and local elections have been asked to file for a leave of absence from their duties to the student publication, beginning February 3 and ending on February 27, 2014.


February 3, 2014

May it be known to all concerned that:

Staff members of the Tinig ng Plaridel (TNP) editorial board and its sections who wish to participate in the 2014 university and local elections have been asked to file for a leave of absence from their duties to the student publication, beginning February 3 and ending on February 27, 2014.

This is in keeping with our desire to uphold impartiality and accountability in our practice of journalism.

A special section has been created solely for Botong Isko, TNP’s election coverage arm, composed of writers and photographers who chose not to participate in any election campaign.


Melissa Luz Lopez


EDITORIAL: In service of the anonymous

As the university and college student council election in the University of the Philippines draws near, every Iskolar ng Bayan must live up to the challenge to be highly critical – not only of the candidates vying for different positions, but also of the information that they consume, particularly from the “media” that seem to only stir awake during the most heated season of the year.

Thriving in a community hungry for information, so-called “watchdogs” have entered the scenario to offer the latest on the candidates, whatever their color, affiliation or principles may be. Through social networking sites, these new “media” were born almost out of nowhere, promising to provide information in the name of service to the Iskolar ng Bayan.

Sprouting like mushrooms, a couple of these appeared particularly in Facebook. Most prominent perhaps is Factcheck Diliman, which according to its page, “was born out of a desire for an alternative venue” and is “committed to empowering iskolars ng bayan to be more proactive and engaged in policy-building through participation in electoral politics.”

With its juicy content, Factcheck Diliman easily became a household name within the UP community, along with its affiliates in the constituent units in Manila, Baguio and Los Baños. On surface level, it may seem to effectively imitate the organization of a media outfit. However, its biggest flaw lies in its very foundation: its anonymity that ultimately frees it from any liability.

Factcheck’s roots trace back three years ago from its already defunct Multiply account. Despite the change of platform, its mode of “service” has always been the same, releasing “exclusives” and “scoops” while shrouding itself in a veil of secrecy, like vigilantes working in the dark.

Despite its claims on non-partisanship, eyebrows cannot helped but be raised as it functions almost similarly to a tabloid newspaper delivering the latest blind item of the day.

Concealment is Factcheck’s game – and it has been playing well at it. By withholding the sources of its every information, its accuracy is put to question, along with the credibility of their sources and Factcheck itself.

Isn’t it hypocritical for an “election watchdog” to demand transparency and accountability from political candidates, when they themselves are free from any liability because of their anonymity?

Factcheck may continue claiming its “service” to the UP community, but it may as well be shot down in terms of accountability. By the non-disclosure of their names and affiliations, we are left to question their true intent in releasing information to the public.

In the account of false information or propaganda, who are we to blame? Free from responsibility, Factcheck might as well release information to deliberately slant the campaign or simply add fuels to already burning fires, if the student body is not be critical enough to discern the truth.

Factcheck Diliman has recently reached Facebook’s limit of 5, 000 friends – a wide reach that can easily make or break it for any political aspirant fielding for a position.

In its call for an issue, rather than personality-based politics, it has joined the three competing parties in its campaign. In its famed question-and-answer portion, however, it still has to truly walk the talk, as questions regarding personalities still floated, despite its supposed screening.

While the merit of Factcheck as an avenue for communication and discussion cannot be completely disregarded, its stance as a “watchdog” should also be clearly watched by the UP community.

Cloaking itself under the guise of mystery, it does not do us any service; on the contrary, merely a great disservice, as it places accuracy and accountability at stake.

Editor’s Note: This piece appeared as the editorial of TNP’s College of Mass Communication (CMC) election primer that was published on the eve of Election Day, February 27. You may read and download the primer here. 

KAISA dominates USC election results

Nagkakaisang Iskolar para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan (KAISA) dominated the University Student Council (USC) elections 2013, clinching the chair and vice chair positions and four of the 12 council seats—a first since the party’s establishment in 2005.

Alex Castro from KAISA won as the USC chairperson at 4944 votes. Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP) standard bearer Mijo Solis ranked next with 2804 votes, followed by Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran (ALYANSA) candidate Carlo Brolagda with 2213 votes.

Castro broke the record of the highest number of votes garnered by a chairperson held also by KAISA’s Titus Tan with 4905 votes when he won in 2009.

INFOGRAPHIC: See how far Alex Castro’s lead over Mijo Solis was.

KAISA vice chairperson candidate Jules Guiang gained 3385 votes and bested STAND UP and ALYANSA candidates Kei Garcia and Alex Santos with 3319 and 3194 votes respectively.

Carla Gonzales from KAISA topped the list of USC councilors, garnering 3379 votes. Three other councilors came from KAISA, while STAND UP and ALYANSA each won five and three councilor seats respectively.

Eight out of the 20 college representatives to the USC also came from KAISA. ALYANSA got six seats while STAND UP won three seats. All three independent (unaffiliated with any of the three major political parties) candidates gained seats as the School of Economics, College of Law and College of Mass Communication representatives.

University Student Electoral Board recorded a 48.4 percent voter turnout, a slight decrease from last year’s 48.91 percent. Of the 23,232 voting population, only 11,245 voted on Thursday.



Ana Alexandra “Alex” Castro (KAISA) — 4944 votes

Jose Miguel “Mijo” Solis (STAND UP) — 2804 votes

Raphael Carlo “Carlo” Brolagda (ALYANSA) — 2213 votes

Abstain — 1284 votes


Julliano Fernando “Jules” Guiang (KAISA) — 3385 votes

Hannah Keila “Kei” Garcia (STAND UP) — 2804 votes

Alexandra Maria Francia “Alex” Santos (ALYANSA) — 2213 votes

Abtain — 1347 votes


  1. Carla Monica “Carla” Gonzales (KAISA) — 3379 votes
  2. Lemuel Christian “Lem” Magaling (STAND UP) — 3307 votes
  3. Raphael Aaron “Aaron” Letaba (ALYANSA) — 3081 votes
  4. Daniel “Dan” Guzman (KAISA) — 3022 votes
  5. Erra Mae “Erra” Zabat (STAND UP) — 2924 votes
  6. John Paulo “JP” delas Nieves (ALYANSA) — 2816 votes
  7. Charlotte “Cha” France (STAND UP) — 2807 votes
  8. Rafael Luis Rodolfo “Rafa” Fernando (KAISA) — 2794 votes
  9. Allyna-Haneefa “Neefa” Macapado (STAND UP) — 2752 votes
  10. Arjay “Arjay” Mercado (ALYANSA) — 2747 votes
  11. Mario Adrefanio “Aio” Santos (STAND UP) — 2714 votes
  12. Erica Camille “Erica” Lau (KAISA) — 2666 votes





Fenina Maria “Fen” De Leon (CBA)—455 votes

Shamah “Shamah” Bulangis (Educ)—167 votes

April Rose “April” Ramos (Eng’g)—1323 votes

Stefanie “Stef” Quintin (Music)—142 votes

Chris Erwin “Chris” Alquizalas (CSSP)—573 votes

Maria Angelica “Nelica” Rotoni (Stat)—219 votes


Ma. Ysabelle Clarisse Anne “Myca” S.M. Bonoan (AIT)—165 votes

Jose Ruel “Fab” Fabia (Archi)—221 votes

Daniel Raymond “Dan” Nieva (Eng’g)—954 votes

Carlo “Carlo” de Laza (CFA)—231 votes

Anna Alexa “Alexa” Nacional (CHE)—268 votes

Ma. Isabela “Isay” Aurellado (CHK)—180 votes

Ram Vincent “Ram” Tomaneng (CS)—508 votes

Francesca Anne Louise “Lui” Angeles (NCPAG)—144 votes


Ma. Aliona “Aliona” Silva (CAL)—261 votes

David “Dave” Terante (SLIS)—63 votes

Erika Isabel “Aika” Yague (CSWCD)—72 votes


Regine Beatrice “Reg” Rodriguez (Econ)—298 votes

John Paul “JP” Rotap (Law)—391 votes

Carla Patrice “Carla” Cucueco (CMC)—322 votes

USC bets debate on STFAP, security issues at UP Front forum

by Jhesset Thrina Enano

Candidates for this year’s University Student Council (USC) elections expressed their positions on university issues, as well as their plans of action, in an elections forum Tuesday at Cine Adarna.

Representing each party in UP Front are their standard bearers, along with three candidates for councilors each.

Before the issue-based debate, standard bearers were given the opportunity to deliver their introductory speeches.

Running for chairperson under Nagkakaisang Iskolar para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan (KAISA), Alex Castro voiced the party’s slogan of “pushing the limit.”

“This year, the message is different,” the incumbent USC vice chairperson said, alluding to her prior speeches on organizations and students in the same forum for the past two years. “But I realized it’s the exact same thing. I believe in organizations. I believe in ordinary students. That’s why this year the challenge is to push the limit for one strong UP.”

Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND-UP) standard bearer Mijo Solis, on the other hand, voiced the USC’s role in fighting for the other societal sectors.

“USC is a bastion that will defend the rights not only of the students, but will defend the rights of the Filipinos,” said the incumbent USC councilor.

Carlo Brogalda, the candidate for chairperson from Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran (ALYANSA), opened his speech by mentioning the party’s core beliefs: progressive multi-perspective activism, academic excellence, social justice and social progress, and student empowerment.

“ALYANSA gave me the chance to go in front of you and tell you the principles that we carry,” he said.

Brogalda is the only non-USC incumbent fielding for chairpersonship. A local council chair, he is currently the chairperson of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy student council.

Different positions on STFAP

In the debate, the candidates were asked about their stance on issues relating to the university. A question directed to the vice chairperson candidates involved the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP).

Only Kei Garcia of STAND-UP moved for scrapping, while ALYANSA’s Alex Santos and KAISA’s Jules Guiang opted for revising the program.

STFAP employs an Alphabetic Bracketing System, sorting students into Brackets A to E2 that will define their base tuition fee per unit. At present, the base tuition fee is at P1,500, a significant increase from the P300 base fee in 2006.

“Our proposal is roll back the tuition, make education accessible,” said Garcia, the second year representative of the Law Student Government, recognizing that as “Iskolar ng Bayan,” the taxes should pay for the students’ tuition fees.

Incumbent councilor Guiang, on his part, calls for a revision, recognizing that many students benefit from the program.

“Ang kailangan natin dito ay comprehensive review at i-revise,” mentioning the main project of KAISA known as “Six Will Fix,” which allocates six percent of the Gross National Product to the education sector.

Santos of ALYANSA echoed both Garcia and Guiang’s statements, believing that education in the right, but also moves for a revision due to its many flaws.

“Mayroong mga estudyante na hindi natin maintindihan kung bakit sila nailalagay sa ganung bracket,” said the incumbent councilor. “We have to really qualify kung bakit tayo binabracket as students. Hindi lang dapat hanggang A to E2. Dapat siguro hanggang Z, hanggang 100.”

On campus security

On the other end, candidates for chairpersonship were asked on the issue of campus security.

STAND-UP’s Solis believed in a “community-based security system.”

“Lahat tayo mga stakeholders, alagaan natin ang bawat isa,” said Solis, touching on the Lordei Hina stabbing incident at Vinzons Hall last year, where the perpetrators were caught through the help of many eyewitnesses, particularly UP vendors.

Brogalda, however, decided to look at the many layers of the situation, from the administration and budget, to the students themselves.

“We should have enough discipline na sundin yung protocols that are in place,” he said, referring to the “no ID, no entry” rule in buildings.

He added, “ALYANSA also proposes to create an information kit for all of us para magkaroon tayo ng proper documentation and protocols on security.”

Castro of KAISA reiterated the party’s rejection of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras, scanners and militarization as solutions to the pressing problem.

She suggested that KAISA’s project, “Liwanag sa Dilim,” may be adopted as an alternative. The project aims for the installation of more lamp posts in the campus, the construction of outposts near dormitories and coordination between Special Services Brigades (SSB).


CMCSC publishes anti-partisanship rules for incumbents as campaign season starts

by Melissa Luz Lopez

Council officers, think before you click or expect to see a post about you on Facebook.

The College of Mass Communication Student Council (CMCSC) released yesterday the official set of rules governing the conduct of incumbent council officers during the election period.

The rules stipulate that officers who are not running for any position cannot so much as like a Facebook post or re-tweet any election-related statements from candidates running for positions in the local student council and their respective parties.

Incumbent candidates, meanwhile, are barred from using their positions to “forward his/her individual or party’s candidacy.” This means, among others, that they cannot use any of the CMCSC’s social media accounts to campaign for themselves or other candidates.

According to the guidelines posted online, an officer who violates the rules will be “held accountable through a public post in the CMCSC’s [Facebook] page,” with his or her name and violation indicated.

CMC Chairperson Mario Urrutia III said that although the rules were already practiced by officers in the previous councils, this was the first time a written document was published for transparency.

Naglabas kami ng written document para masabi na wala kaming kinikilingan, at yung pagkiling lang namin ay sa mga Maskom students, (We released a written document to show that we don’t take sides, except that of CMC students),” he said.

He added that while all of the officers in the current council belong to different parties, they all had an understanding to “strip off the colors” and “be neutral” during their term.

The campaign season for both the University and local student council elections officially started on February 12. A total of 25 candidates from the local parties Interdependent Student-Centered Activism (ISA) and the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP-CMC (STAND UP-CMC) are running for all the positions in the CMCSC. The elections will be held on February 28.

ISA, STAND-UP CMC campaigns kick off

ISA started its campaign yesterday by distributing yellow pamphlets bearing the party’s general plans of action (GPOA) and a list of proposed projects.

ISA Campaign Manager Carmela Bangsal said their slate was focused on “changing the current climate” of CMC. “Yung vision of the org, especially of Anj (Sebastian, candidate for Chairperson) is walang iwanan sa Maskom,” she said.

Centered on college unity, ISA aims to make CMC a colorless” and “orgless” home, according to Bangsal.

Meanwhile, STAND UP-CMC launched its campaign with the theme “Maskom: Ikasa ang lente, pluma at boses ng masa para sa malayang midya, manindigan nang sama-sama.”

According to STAND UP Campaign Manager Krupskaya Valila, the party conducted a line-setting on the issues to be tackled and to set a debate against the other party.

Valila mentioned that the party would not release copies of its GPOA this week to focus on discussing issues from within and outside CMC.

Gusto muna naming itaas ang diskurso sa pakikipag-debate at hindi lamang muna makulong sa mga projects namin (We want to elevate the discourse on the debates and not to be limited by the projects that we will offer),” she said.


Incomplete slates

The withdrawal of representative Naomi Cristel Enriquez from the race, Valila said, would not stop STAND UP from serving the Communication Research Department, citing that their “collective action” would help remaining candidate Jordan Charles De Guzman to fulfill the role.

Enriquez withdrew her candidacy for family and religious reasons, she said.

ISA’s pamphlets, on the other hand, did not include Film Representative Tiara Katlyn Beatriz Samson in the roster. They have yet to release an official statement on the matter.

Seven CMC students gunning for posts in the USC

by Dean Lozarie

Seven students from the College of Mass Communication will vie for seats in next year’s University Student Council (USC), with one of them running as an independent candidate.

Broadcast Communication student and incumbent USC Councilor Alexandra Maria Francia Santos is running as USC vice-chairperson under ALYANSA. STAND-UP, meanwhile, is fielding Broadcast Communication student Charlotte C. France, Communication Research major Angelo A. Lagman, Journalism major John Nelvin S. Lucero, and Communication Research student Mario Andrefanio P. Santos II as USC councilors. Beata Regina Carolino, a Journalism student, will be running as CMC’s College Representative to the USC also under STAND-UP.

Carolino will be up against Communication Research student Carla Patrice S. Cucueco, who is running as an independent. Cucueco is currently vice chairperson of the CMC Student Council and ran under the college-level party Interdependent Student-Centered Activism (ISA).

Meanwhile, both STAND-UP and KAISA are fielding a full slate of 12 councilors in this year’s elections. Only 11 candidates for councilor will run under ALYANSA. STAND-UP’s candidate for Chairperson is UP Diliman USC Councilor Jose Miguel B. Solis from the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy(CSSP). His running mate is Hanna Keila Garcia from the College of Law.

UPD USC Vice Chairperson Ana Alexandra Castro, meanwhile, will be KAISA’s Chairperson bet in this year’s elections, with UPD USC Councilor Juliano Fernando Guiang as her running mate. ALYANSA, the party of incumbent USC Chairperson Heart Diño, is fielding CSSP SC Chairperson Raphael Carlo Brolagda as the next USC Chairperson.

The first official list of candidates for this year’s elections, released Tuesday by the University Student Electoral Board, also included three independent candidates, all of whom are running for College Representatives of the School of Economics, the College of Law, and CMC, respectively. The list includes 80 candidates for USC seats all in all.

CMC CSEB releases official list of candidates


by Melissa Luz Lopez

The College Student Electoral Board (CSEB) released Wednesday the official list of candidates for the upcoming College of Mass Communication Student Council (CMCSC) elections.

Local party Interdependent Student-Centered Activism (ISA) are fielding Angela Sebastian and Macario III Manicad as standard-bearers, while the local arm of the University-wide Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP) will be led by Anna Motohara Venturina and Marlon Julian Nombrado.

ISA’s Mari Angelyn Arambulo and Chelsea Claudine Sullivan are running as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively, against STAND UP’s Diana De Mesa and Keisha Alena Mayuga.

Beata Regina Carolino of STAND UP and Carla Patrice Cucueco of ISA are running as the College’s representative to the University Student Council (USC). Cucueco is the incumbent vice-chairperson of the CMCSC.

At the University level, Alexandra Maria Francia Santos, a Broadcast Communication student, is running as Alyansa’s vice-chairperson.

Four CMC students are also eyeing their spot in the USC. Charlotte France from Broadcast Communication, John Nelvin Lucero from Journalism, and Angelo Lagman and Mario Andrefanio Santos II from Communication Research are running as councilors under the University-wide party STAND UP.

The CSEB is a five-unit body chaired by College Secretary Randy Jay Solis. Members of the Board include Professor Eulalio Guieb III from the Department of Broadcast Communication, Professor Rosel San Pascual from the Communication Research Department, and fourth year student representatives Ralph Angelo Ty and Angela Micah Policarpio.

The official campaign period starts on Feb. 12. Elections are scheduled on Feb. 28.


[UPDATED] Law posts nearly 81% turnout

By Vince Nonato

The College of Law recorded a high 80.99% turnout today, despite a few setbacks that delayed the local Law Student Government elections by an hour.

554 out of 684 students cast their votes, 5 of them manually. The college’s turnout was one of the highest recorded for this year’s University Student Council elections and was consistent with the local trend; last year saw a turnout of 80.65%.

It was earlier reported that the elections in the college, scheduled at 8:00 a.m., the same time as the most of the university, were delayed by an hour. The delay was caused by connectivity problems and the late arrival of passwords from the understaffed Office of Student Activities.

The college’s own wireless-fidelity (wi-fi) network could not connect with the university-wide Halalan network, according to Roselle Nonato, head of the college’s Electoral and Judicial Tribunal. They had to set up another router that could connect with the university-wide Dilnet, which allows access to the computerized election system, she said.

Elections were closed by 7:30 p.m.

VOTERS TURNOUT – 554/684; 80.99%

Benedict “Aict” G. Nisperos – 273 + 4 manual votes= 277
Michael “Mike” T. Tiu, Jr. – 243 + 1 manual vote = 244
Abstain – 33

Marie Louise “Louie” N. Camino – 418 + 4 manual votes = 422
Abstain – 131 + 1 manual vote = 132

Julienne Marie “Yen” A. Morada –322 + 2 manual votes = 324
Ivan Mark “Ivan” C. Galura – 175 + 3 manual votes = 178
Abstain – 52

Jose Antonio Rafael “Bam” G. Santos – 391 + 1 manual vote = 392
Abstain – 158 + 4 manual votes= 162

Anne Jaycelle “Ja” C. Sacramento – 450 + 5 manual votes= 455
Abstain – 99

Patrick Chris “Carbs” D. Carbonell – 347 + 1 manual vote = 348
Abstain – 202 + 4 manual votes = 206

Diega de Guzman “Diega” Villanueva – 65 + 1 manual vote = 66
Jelorie “Jel” F. Gallego – 61 + 1 manual vote = 62
Gil Anthony “Gil” E. Aquino – 34 + 2 manual votes = 36

Jian Paulo “Jian” P. Boller – 76
Paolo “Pao/PC/Poc/Pablo” O. Celeridad – 60
Benjamin Joseph “BJ” Y. Geronimo – 50

Gerard Emmanuel “G” V. Tayao – 73
Carl Edison “Eins” M. Balagtas – 40**
Abstain – 23

Hanna Keila “Kei” H. Garcia – 67
Ranulfo “Oyie” J. Javelosa III – 66
Ramon “Monci” I. Rocha IV – 41
Abstain – 2

Ma. Cristina Reyes (UP ALYANSA) – 413

**Under Section 13 par. 3 of Art. IV (B) of the 2012 UP LAW Students’ Constitution “for the position of Batch Representatives, if there are only two (2) candidates, each candidate must obtain a majority vote in order to be declared the winner.”

The majority vote is 54, therefore Mr. Balagtas cannot be given the council seat. Special elections for the position will be held.

Blue, red and yellow: Parties defend political orientations

From top to bottom: ALYANSA, KAISA and STAND-UP. Photos by Michelle Angelica Soriano
By Jhesset Trina EnanoWith the upcoming elections, the clash between the political parties for the University Student Council elections is brought to the very basics of their campaign – their political orientations.

In the midst of heated discussions regarding pertinent issues that ranged from candidates’ credentials to the education budget, the word war during “Kung Aagawin Mo Ang Langit,” the annual mudslinging debate in UP, was reduced yesterday to questions regarding the political stances of Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran (ALYANSA), Nagkakaisang Iskolar para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan (KAISA) and Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP).

ALYANSA maintained their stand on “progressive multi-perspective activism,” which recognizes the different views on an issue and the various forms of action in the need to empower the oppressed sectors in society.

“Meron tayong lipunan na mayroong sistema na mayroong pagkakaiba-iba (We have a society with a system of differences) and this is where we draw our multi-perspectivity from,” answered candidate for councilor Jose Emmanuel Micael Eva VIII, mentioning the need to listen to different sectors.

On the other hand, “inclusive activism” is the orientation of KAISA, according to its standard bearer Shaina Santiago, which she said recognizes the various perspectives in society. However, at the end of the day, she stated that their party believes in collective action.

“We consider na tayong mga estudyante ay may magagawa; tayo ay may magagawang solusyon (We consider that we students can do something, that we can offer solutions),” she said, adding their belief in an action dubbed as “expose, oppose, propose” in which students do not merely oppose the government, but also propose solutions for the problems faced by society.

STAND UP candidate for vice chairperson Soraya Escandor, however, questioned the existence of various brands of activism.

“Ang activism po ay way of life ‘yan!” Escandor claims, eliciting applause from their supporters.

STAND UP espouses militant activism, which recognizes collective action and student demonstrations to address the problems of society. The party also recognizes that the issues of students are not separated from the issues of other basic sectors of society such as workers and farmers, according to Escandor.

“Kung Aagawin Mo Ang Langit” is organized by the UP Solidaridad System-wide Alliance of Student Publications and Writers’ Organizations. On its fourth year, it continues to present itself as a venue for candidates to show their stand on issues and answer questions from the student body.

On the course of the debate, the “multi-perspective” stance of ALYANSA was repeatedly lashed by the two other parties, for alleged inconsistency of the party with regards to its stand on issues such as the Tuition and Other Fee Increase (TOFI) and the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP), citing reports from the Philippine Collegian, the official publication of UP Diliman.

Despite these allegations, ALYANSA said that they were misquoted by the Collegian on these reports. However, KAISA candidate for vice-chairperson Alex Castro and Escandor were united in disproving ALYANSA’s statement.

The three parties also set their differences aside and united regarding the statement made by an incumbent USC councilor regarding the independent candidate running for chairperson, Martin Loon.

In a Facebook note, Cathy Alcantara revealed the poor track record of Loon in terms of attendance in general assemblies, as well as his performance during events held by the USC. When she asked the three parties whether they believe her statement, all candidates stood up and answered a unanimous ‘yes’.

Loon failed to show up during the entire debate. In a text message to Tinig ng Plaridel, he said that his absence was due to having pneumonia earlier in the day. He said that he cannot stay under the heat of the sun and simply stayed inside buildings for the day.

CMCSC candidates face off at Hot Off

By Jhesset Enano

From left to right: CMCSC Chairperson candidates Farah Ghodsinia (ISA), Mario Urrutia (STAND UP), and Independent Joaquin Torres. Photos by Joshua Dalupang

Sparks flew Friday during “Hot Off the Grill,” the College of Mass Communication’s official miting de avance, when the Interdependent Student-Centered Activism (ISA) candidate for chairperson accused the rival party’s vice-chairperson candidate of falsifying class attendance.

In the middle of an already tense debate between CMC’s two political parties, ISA’s Farahnaz Ghodsinia asked Charlotte France, candidate for vice-chairperson of the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP CMC (STAND UP-CMC) how she would define academic integrity and honesty.

France replied that she valued integrity, but not just in academics. “What is our definition of integrity? Kung paano natin tinatangan ang ating responsibilidad bilang isang lider-estudyante, kung paano natin tinatangan ang responsibilidad sa pagsusulong ng mga interes ng ating mamamayan (It’s how we carry out our responsibilities as student leaders, how we carry out our responsibility to forward the interest of the people),” she said.

However, Ghodsinia surprised the crowd when she revealed that France and two other Broadcast Communication students allegedly arranged for another classmate to sign the attendance sheet for them during a class where the three were all absent.

“Is that what you call academic integrity?” Ghodsinia asked, eliciting a rowdy response from the audience. “You call yourself a role model, a leader [when] you don’t even stand up to that integrity and honesty that we have as students.”

France, however, shot back at Ghodsinia and said she was insulted by the latter’s decision to bring up such a “sensitive discussion” in a public setting.

ISA Chairperson Candidate Ghodsinia questions the integrity of STAND UP's candidate for vice chairperson Charlotte France who allegedly asked a classmate in GS 197 to sign for her attendance when she was absent. JOSHUA DALUPANG

Naninindigan po tayo na nakakainsulto ang mga ganitong usapin… Ito ay maselang usapin na di natin dapat inilalabas sa konteksto nito (We believe that this kind of discussion is insulting. It is a sensitive discussion that we should not take out of context),” she said.

The miting de avance, organized by the UP Mass Communicators Organization, saw the candidates of the two political parties—from chairperson to course representatives—debate on issues such as activism and their proposed projects for the college.

The slates of ISA and STAND-UP CMC were complete during the event. Independent candidates Angelo Lagman and Joaquin Torres, who are running for Communication Research representative and chairperson respectively, were also present.

In an ambush interview with Tinig ng Plaridel, Ghodsinia maintained that she did not have any malicious intent in revealing France’s alleged wrongdoing.

Wala naman po akong sinabing mali (I did not say anything wrong). For me, even if I’m not running, I would want a student leader who stays true to this principle of integrity. We should not tolerate any sense of deception, any sense of corruption,” she said.

France, however, said she will not speak in detail about the allegation until the people involved are included in the discussion.

Itong mga ganitong bagay, hindi ito pinag-uusapan dito. Malaking insulto siya sa student body na ito yung batayan nila sa paglabas ng black propaganda na walang konteksto, hindi inalam kung ano talaga ang nangyari (These kinds of things are not talked about here. It’s a big insult to the student body that this topic will be used as the basis for black propaganda when it has been taken out of context, when they did not know what really happened),” she said.

Ang eleksyon ay ‘di personality politics; it’s about principles, kung anong napatunayan ng partido para sa pagtataguyod ng interes ng masa at mag-aaral (Election is not about personality politics; it’s about principles. What has been proven by the party with regard to pursuing the interests of the masses and the students),” France added.

ISA candidates, meanwhile, distanced themselves from the bribery issue involving Bukluran ng mga Progresibong Iskolar – UP System (BUKLURAN UP SYSTEM), a political organization of which the party is a member.

The incident, which happened during the General Assembly of Student Councils (GASC) December last year, involved the attempt by some members of Bukluran to bribe a chairperson of a student council in UP Visayas with P2000 in exchange for support for a position on the rules for the selection of the student regent.

ISA’s president, Leor Jyle Sulit, who is currently running for CMC representative to the University Student Council, withheld giving a detailed comment on the issue as it is still under investigation.

Hindi po dumaan sa amin kung nagkaroon ba mismo ng bribery (It did not go through us if there even was a bribery). We will not accuse; we will not say that there is bribery. There is an investigative body for it and we have to respect that before we throw allegations and accusations. Patunayan muna bago tayo magbato,” he said.

For her part, Ghodsinia said due process must be followed in the quest to prove the allegations of bribery.

“In the case that Bukluran is really involved in it, then due process must be [upheld] and we do not tolerate it,” she said.

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Photos by Joshua Dalupang

Tanungan at Tugunan

Nina Kimberly Jao at Judielyn Agua

Panahon na naman ng eleksyon. Para sa matalinong pagboto, kilalanin ang mga kandidato para sa konseho ng Kolehiyo ng Pangmadlang Komunikasyon. Alamin at kilatisin ang bawat personalidad batay sa kanilang pagtugon sa tawag ng pagiging Alagad ng Media at Iskolar ng Bayan.

Kung mahuhuli mo si Jovito Palparan, anong gagawin mo sa 1M reward money at bakit?

Claudine Aldana (STAND-UP BC Rep): Ibabalik ko ang pera sa masa at mamamayan dahil sa kanila naman talaga ang pera na 'yun.

Farahnaz Ghodsinia (ISA Chairperson): Dapat wala nang reward money. We know that criminals like Palparan should actually be caught and punished for the crimes that he made especially po alam naman natin na two of our fellow UP students are still missing.

Angelo Lagman (Independent CommRes Rep): ‘Yung 500K sa Maskom tapos 250K sa CommRes, para umunlad 'yung college natin at lalong-lalo na yung department. Kailangan natin ng maraming fund para ayusin ‘yung college at para makatulong tayo sa mas marami pang tao.

Macario Manicad III (ISA BC Rep): Ibibigay ko siguro sa mga naging biktima ng ginawa niyang krimen at sa isang foundation na makakatulong siguro sa mga street children natin.
Patricia Ann Morata (STAND UP CommRes Rep): Ibibigay ko sa pamilya ni Karen at She o sa mga organisasyon na namamahala sa desaparecidos. Mas kailangan nila yun kesa sa akin.


Alyssa Mariel Suico (STAND UP Film Rep): Ilalagay ko sa bank para safe siya, mag-iinvest po ako. Siyempre hindi, magbibigay po ako sa NGO na kinabibilangan ko, sa MATA, Movement of Anti-Trafficking Advocates.

Leor Jyle Sulit (ISA CMC Rep): Kalahati sa mga naging biktima ng extrajudicial at enforced disappearances. Sila lang naman talaga ang may deserve nung pera at para naman mabigyan pa rin kahit papano ng hustisya ang mga taong naapektuhan. Natitira siguro to my chosen charity, o showbiz lang, lalo na sa Don Bosco, 'yung favorite charity ko kasi wala tayong masyadong naitutulong sa kanila.

Triciah Terada (ISA BC Rep): Hindi ko aangkinin kasi responsibilidad natin na ipaalam ang mga ganitong kaso sa kinauukulan. Siguro aalamin ko muna kung kaninong institusyon nararapat ipamigay ‘yung 1M, pero malamang sa edukasyon muna dahil 'yun talaga ang gusto kong isulong e.

Joaquin Torres (Independent Chairperson): Ibibigay ko sa Maskom.

Sarah Isabelle Torres (STAND UP CMC Rep): Papagawa natin ng mga bahay diyan sa San Roque, ipapa-reconstruct natin yung kanilang mga sala, kusina. Ipapamigay natin sa mga taong walang gamit at sa mga lider din na nag-oorganisa. Ipag-aaral natin ang kanilang mga anak. Although band aid solution, lagi na lang talagang babalik sa pag-assert sa right natin sa mas mataas na subsidyo para sa basic social services.

Earl Joseph Usi (STAND UP Film Rep): Sa charity work. Aanhin ko naman po ang isang milyon kung ako lang naman ang tatamasa nito, kaya sa mga naghihrap na mamamayan po para naman hindi lang ako ‘yung magbebenefit.

Marko Yambao (ISA Film Rep): I’ll have a good day’s rest since medyo mukhang mahirap siyang hulihin, no? And ia-allocate ko po sa CMC council, my second home away from home. Then, for GCF-ICS kasi nagbibigay po sila sa victims of typhoons, mga ganun. Of course 'yung matitira kemi-kemi na lang, you know, just to even out things.

Bilang Buwan ng mga Puso ngayon, sinong kandidato ng kabilang partido/independent ang nais mong alayan ng pagmamahal? Bakit?

Alberto Gianco Carlo Ante (ISA Film Rep): Si Aly Suico, ang kabilang Film Rep kasi first sem pa lang sobrang tinulungan na niya kami. Sila yung block handler namin at sobrang bait niya talaga sa amin.

Myra Cabujat (STAND UP Journ Rep): ‘Yung kalaban ko na si Chelsea Sullivan. Unang-una wala siyang kapartner at mahirap ‘yun. Pangalawa, siyempre sabi nga sa kasabihan love thy enemy.
Mari Angelyn Arambulo (ISA CommRes Rep):Ang aking fellow blockmate na si Angelo Lagman. Since independent candidate siya, wala siyang slate and gusto ko na ma-feel niya na kahit we’re running against each other, we’re still friends and mahal ko pa din ikaw Al.

Carla Patrice Cucueco (ISA Vice-Chairperson): Hindi talaga ako makapili ng isa kasi bilang kampo ng neutral, we’re very loving. Pero kung papipiliin ako, alam naman nating napakapogi at napakakisig ni Mr. Joaquin Torres. Kung sakaling pag-alayan niya rin ako ng pagmamahal eh 'di masaya po yun.

Rouenne Camille de Castro (STAND UP CommRes Rep): Si Joaqui Torres. ‘Di na ako magpapaka-plastik, alam naman natin at mag-aagree halos lahat ng girls na may itsura nga naman siya at sa mga nadidinig ko ay maganda din ‘yung personality niya.

Charlotte France (STAND UP Vice-Chairperson): Si Bb. Carla Cucueco. Sa STAND UP ay hindi naman tayo mapanghati, hindi natin tinitingnan na kaaway ang ating katapat. Hindi natin sila hinihiwalay, sila ay bahagi ng sambayanan na nais natin paglingkuran at nais natin itaguyod ang kanilang mga interes at karapatan.

Maria Fatima Gaw (ISA Secretary): Si Mario? Well, close kami pero hindi ko pa maparamdam sa kanya pagmamahal ko kasi hindi pa kami gaano magkakilala.

Serafin Candido Gozon (STAND UP Treasurer): Si Anj, ‘yung kalaban ko, para mas mapakita ko sa kanya kung ano nga ba ang STAND UP. I-share natin sa kanya ang ating mga prinsipyo at malay natin parehas pala nung kanya 'yung sa atin.

Ma. Angerica Emmanuelle Hainto (STAND UP Journ Rep): Si Joaqui kasi bukod sa independent siya, sumama din siya sa rally sa Mendiola. Siyempre ‘pag sumasama ka sa mga bagay na ‘yun, may paninindigan at may pinaglalaban ka, ‘yun ang mga gusto nating alayan ng puso, ‘diba?

Ella Jane Hermonio (STAND UP BC Rep): Si Joaqui dahil sa siya ay independent. Nag-iisa siya, wala siyang slate, kaya aalayan ko siya ng pagmamahal nang sa ganun ay mayroon na siyang makasama ngayong buwan ng mga puso.

Ma. Zarina San Jose (STAND UP Secretary): Si Fatima bilang siya ay direktang kalaban ko sa pagiging secretary. After this election, gusto nating manatili pa rin ang aming friendship at mabuting pagsasama.

Maria Angela Teresa Sebastian (ISA Treasurer): I would like to show my love to Joaqui Torres because he has been an orgmate of mine ever since I was in JMA. So Joaqui Torres, love you, good luck.

Chelsea Sullivan (ISA Journ Rep): Joaqui Torres. Well, we’ve been classmates in Pol Sci. I found out that he was a JMA-er and he’s from Maskom. He’s really cute and right now he’s being a mystery so that’s what makes me want him more.

Mario Urrutia III (STAND UP Chairperson): ‘Yung buong slate ng ISA. Gusto natin na united ang lahat sa mga pinaglalaban natin para maisulong ang collective action tungo sa pagkamit ng mga interes nating mga estudyante at ng mamamayang Pilipino.

Anong una mong ginagawa paggising mo sa umaga?

Maylene Manzano (ISA CommRes Rep): Kinakapa ko kung asan ‘yung phone ko para tingnan kung anong oras na or kung may important bang text. Tapos the usual na: bangon, ligpit, kain.

*Bumunot ang bawat kandidato ng isang tanong mula sa mga tinuping papel. (Dahil sa space constraints, napag-desisyunan ng patnugutan ng Tambuli na dalawang tanong lamang ang lalamanin ng nasabing bunutan.) Binigyan sila ng limang segundo upang basahin ito at 30 segundo upang sagutin. Sa kaso ni Bb. Maylene Manzano (ISA CommRes Rep), iba ang naging tanong para sa kanya upang mapanatiling spontanyo ang kanyang sagot sapagkat sa ibang araw siya nainterbyu.

The interview was done by members of the Union of Journalists of the Philippines UP Diliman (UJP-UP) for the fourth issue of the union’s newsletter “Tambuli” on February 22.UJP-UP is an academic, socio-political union of students which seeks to promote advocacy journalism, press freedom and media ethics while advancing pro-masses and pro-student ideals. 

Photos by Joshua Mark Dalupang