The DLSU Newsletter online

23 OCTOBER 2000. VOLUME 32. NUMBER 22. 4 PAGES_ 

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A Call 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 present problems.

We 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 deserve.

May the Lord of History give us the wisdom, courage, and unity of purpose to rebuild our beloved country.

Signed:



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 is ongoing.

 

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