1Sambayan student-led coalition representatives from La Salle and Ateneo schools, along with Former Associate Justice and 1Sambayan convener Antonio Carpio, held a press conference last August 18 on Zoom to bare their plans to educate and mobilize the youth for the upcoming 2022 national elections.
Addressing ‘elite’ reputation
In her opening remarks, Ateneans for 1Sambayan representative Paula Alexis Ando stressed that being aware of one’s privilege, especially for students from Ateneo and La Salle schools, is important. “Gayunpaman, ang pagkakabuo ng 1Sambayan dito sa Ateneo,” she added, “ay patotoo na ang ‘burol’ ay maaaring maging luklukan ng isang ilaw na makapagbibigay liwanag sa mas malawak na kapaligiran nito.”
(However, the formation of 1Sambayan in Ateneo is a testament that the “hill” can be a source of light that can illuminate its surroundings.)
Further, 1Sambayan Lasalyano representative Niño Angelo Lescano underpinned the responsibility attached to the privileges he has studying in an “elite” university, which he asserted must be used as a means to respond to the call of citizens and the nation.
“We are established not only to be academically and globally competent but also empathetic and competent nation builders,” Lescano declared.
Utilizing the youth amid concerns
Carpio recognized the importance of the youth in the upcoming elections, supporting the call for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to extend the registration period. “We, the old folks, will be leaving soon. All we want is to pass this (the country) to the youth the best way we can…All the youth are asking is we extend the registration for just one month,” he said.
However, just after the press conference, Comelec rejected the proposal for an extension but announced that they will lengthen registration hours.
Utilizing youth and grassroots movements amid “morally ascendant” and purely anti-Duterte stances has also been a concern among the public, which the conveners assured is being addressed. Ando said that they are “banking on chapters in Ateneo and La Salle to empower and counter this narrative.”
Lescano emphasized empowerment, a theme that seemed to recur throughout the press conference, as he responded that “dialogue and discourse are part of empowering everyone” and in educating one another. However, 1Sambayan Youth National Convenor Raeyan Reposar negated the claim altogether.
“It’s not just about being morally ascendant. It’s about imputing accountability against leaders who aren’t acting for the Filipinos,” he maintained.
The chapter representatives revealed their plans to further expand to other universities to mobilize the youth. They are also slated to formally launch on August 25 and will hold a “public conversation” with some of the coalition’s key convenors on the youth’s path forward.