“I’m very proud of you” was the message that DLSU President Br. Rolando Dizon FSC expressed to the members of the Lasallian community who participated in People Power II. He said in an interview with The LaSallian that he was happy to have seen the students, faculty, and staff at EDSA. The youth’s participation in People Power II was more pronounced than in People Power I, he added.
“I want to know how many [students] actually left [for EDSA] when we had those alternative classes and gave the students the choice,” he said. “But I believe that the really involved ones are still a minority. Based on the sign-ups with the Center for Social Concern and Action (COSCA), more than 200 students went on January 17 and more than 300 on the following days.”
However, many students also joined the protest on their own, according to Joan Tolibas, COSCA Advocacy Coordinator.
On Br. Andrew’s resignation
“It was too late; there was no impact…whether he resigned or not made no difference,” Bro. Roly said of the resignation of former DLSU President Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC, as Education Secretary Br. Andrew resigned on January 19, the eve of former President Estrada’s departure from Malacañang.
In late December, the Brothers released a statement in newspapers calling for the resignation of Estrada and of Lasallians in the government.
According to Br. Roly, Br. Andrew saw the statement before its release and disagreed, but respected the Brothers’ right to express their sentiments the same way the Brothers respected his decision to remain in the government.
Br. Andrew has reportedly expressed a desire to teach and author books; Br. Roly said he has offered him some administrative positions.
Now that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is president, Br. Roly said that we Filipinos must not waste this chance the way EDSA I was wasted because of the belief that the main task of rebuilding the nation fell on the government.
“My call is to have a posture of critical collaboration, to support and cooperate with the new government insofar as it does the right things,” Br. Roly explained. But we should also be ready to speak up when things are not the way they should be, he added. He saw the criticisms of the new president as a good sign of vigilance.