by Franz Jonathan de la Fuente
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s nine-year administration has produced failed results, according to an assessment by the UP LCC (League of College Councils) and USC (University Student Council) a day before she leaves office.
Arroyo was given a grade of “5.0,”—a failing mark by UP academic standards—at a LCC- and USC-led press conference at the Claro M. Recto Hall yesterday.
With the assistance of the socio-economic think tank IBON Foundation and the National Union of Students in the Philippines, different college student councils presented a giant UP bluebook detailing Arroyo’s failures on good governance, education, industrialization, and human rights.
“PHIL 101” was the course code on the said bluebook, while the “Iskolar ng Bayan” was Arroyo’s course instructor.
“What did GMA (Arroyo) say in her 2001 SONA (State of the Nation Address), and what has she achieved since then?” asked USC chairperson Rainier Sindayen.
“Sa totoo lang,” he remarked, using one of Arroyo’s own advertisement slogans, “very little. Ang overall grade na binibigay ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan ay 5.0 dahil wala siyang lasting legacy na iniwan,” he said.
100 days and beyond
The LCC and USC also formally launched the “First 100 Days” campaign, an effort to hold president-elect Benigno Aquino III accountable to the many promises he made during the election campaign.
Indicators with accompanying percentages pointed to what is hoped to be Aquino’s priorities.
“It is a take-off point from the earlier ‘GMA Must Go’ campaign,” he explained. “Now that we have clearly established GMA’s negligence of the students and the Filipino people, we demand that the incoming administration be instrumental in our fight for accountability.”
LCC convener and USC vice chairperson Fermina “Amme” Agudo said, “We want to send a clear message to the Aquino administration that the Iskolar ng Bayan is united and is prepared to mobilize and be vigilant in his first 100 days.”
In a drafted statement on human rights, the College of Mass Communication Student Council (CMCSC) called for the resignation of Justice Secretary Alberto Agra and the reconsideration of his questionable resolution on the Maguindanao massacre (as of press time, Aquino has appointed Commission on Human Rights chairperson Leila de Lima as Justice Secretary).
Similarly, Aquino was also urged to explore a comprehensive program for the protection of journalists via consultations with them.
Morong 43 and Maguindanao massacre
Also on human rights, the release of the still-detained Morong 43 health workers would bode well for the Aquino administration, CMCSC vice-chairperson Erika Paola “Rix” Migriño said.
“They (Morong 43) were illegally detained and being tortured. Once they are released, it would imply that the new administration is prioritizing human rights and justice,” she said.
Migriño said that the CMCSC plans to continue collection drives for the Morong 43 as well as the countdown to justice for the Maguindanao Massacre, and urged the CMC community to remain vigilant on the issues.