for Collective Action
We, members of the Lasallian
family, in solidarity with the Church’s teaching and magisterium,
and after prayerful discernment, offer our views on the current
crisis. By stating what we believe in and what we commit ourselves
to do, we hope to influence our national leaders and the public
to take appropriate action to save our nation.
Our nation is once more divided. Fourteen years after deposing
a dictator, we find ourselves in another crisis, one of confidence
in our current President, Joseph Ejercito Estrada. Despite
his inaugural promise that he would not tolerate corruption
in his administration, the President has favored cronies,
befriended nefarious elements, and personally amassed unexplained
wealth. He has lost the moral ascendancy to govern our nation.
This crisis of confidence threatens our future as a nation.
At stake is not only the Estrada presidency, but our national
honor and economic recovery. Because of his lack of moral
and competent leadership, there are now signs that the economy
is headed for recession - the peso is plummeting, stock market
investors are withdrawing, prices of basic commodities are
increasing, and the real income of most Filipinos is decreasing.
There are disturbing signs of disruptive partisan conflict,
of rebellious groups planning to use violence to seize power,
of otherwise law-abiding citizens contemplating extra-constitutional
means to correct the situation. We are particularly concerned
that the media war between contending personalities diverts
our attention away from the prolonged ills of our society
and the substantive issues of the present.
We believe that there is a quick way to start solving our
support the call for President Estrada to resign.
Resignation is one of the processes allowed by our Constitution
for a change in the presidency.
While we appreciate the efforts of those asking for his impeachment,
which is another constitutional means to change the President,
we do not favor such a process, because it is clear to us
that the administration party is bent on subverting this process
by delaying or even blocking the trial of the President.
We call on our co-members of the De La Salle University System
- our alumni, parents, faculty, students, and administrators
- to withdraw their support for an incompetent and immoral
leadership that has made the condition of the masses worse
than it was when this President took over the reins of power.
As Lasallians, we are committed to helping the poor, and it
is the poor that bear the brunt of the effects of corruption
and cronyism in the government.
We join the many organizations of religious, educators, laborers,
farmers, women, and other sectors, in the growing people’s
movement that would once again take the opportunity to reshape
the nation. We believe that the anti-Erap movement will consolidate
our democratic order, induce us to sacrifice anew so that
our economy will improve, and reinvigorate in us the moral
spirit that moved us at EDSA.
President Estrada’s continuing in office threatens not only
the present, but also the future of our students and our children.
We commit ourselves to work for our nation now and after
President Estrada relinquishes the position he does not anymore
May the Lord of History give us the wisdom, courage, and unity
of purpose to rebuild our beloved country.
This manifesto, drafted
after a thorough discussion and careful discernment by members
of the faculty and administration, was distributed last week
to the rest of the Lasallian community. The signature campaign