By Franz Jonathan de la Fuente and Marisse Gabrielle Panaligan
Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran (ALYANSA) apologized to the Ugnayan ng mga Nagkakaisang Artista (UNA) regarding the statement in their General Program of Action (GPOA) that they would reform organizational alliances such as UNA.
Incumbent USC councilor Kristine Borja, ALYANSA USC chairperson candidate, responded to a question raised by an audience member at the USC portion of the College of Mass Communication’s miting de avance Hot Off The Grill, hosted by the UP Mass Communicators Organization.
In its GPOA under the category of student empowerment, ALYANSA has outlined “Ka-Alyansa (Kasama ka sa mga Alyansa)” where they shall reform by strengthening, engaging, and tapping existing student organizations and alliances for consultations and participations.
UNA was one of the alliances mentioned in ALYANSA’s GPOA.
In the statement, UNA said that the word “reform” has a negative connotation and demanded a public apology respecting its independence and autonomy.
Borja said they did not mean to offend anyone and apologized for the misunderstanding.
“When we say reform, what we mean is we want to strengthen the organization or alliance,” Borja said, recognizing that UNA has a great potential as an alliance.
Incumbent USC councillor Gem Garcia, Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND-UP) USC chairperson candidate welcomed the apology, but also said the GPOA should be discussed and considered carefully.
“Masakit po sa kahit sinong alliance o sa kahit anong organisasyon na sabihin na kailangan silang i-reform, na as if ina-undermine natin iyong kanilang kapasidad na paunlarin iyong kanilang mga sarili,” Garcia said.
Melvin Banzon, USC councilor candidate of Nagkakaisang Iskolar ng Bayan para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan (KAISA), agreed with Garcia.
“Before you say you could strengthen or you want to strengthen a certain formation or organization, there should be of course consent from that alliance or formation,” Banzon said.
The UP Youth for Earth Alliance, and the UP SANLAHI Alliance similarly joined UNA in releasing a joint statement released yesterday online demanding a removal of their names from the ALYANSA GPOA
Film organization UP Sining at Lipunan, an UNA member, released a statement decrying the GPOA inclusion, saying that any calls for reform should come from UNA itself.
“Ang ganitong uri ng panghihimasok ay dapat ikundena at hindi dapat pahintulutan sa anumang porma, eleksyon man o hindi. Hinihiling ng UP SILIP ang na magkaroon ng inisyatiba UP ALYANSA (sic) na huwag manghimasok sa anumang organisasyong hindi nila kinabibilangan,” said the UP SILIP statement.