The De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University chapters of opposition group 1Sambayan were formally launched in a round table discussion titled Dude, Pare, Change on Facebook Live last August 25. The forum featured messages from former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, human rights lawyer and former DLSU College of Law Dean Chel Diokno, and Vice President Leni Robredo, as well as discussions from former Sen. Bam Aquino, 1Sambayan Youth Convenor Rae Reposar, and Dinagat Islands Gov. Kaka Bag-ao.
Two schools hand-in-hand
Br. Armin Luistro FSC opened the event with the call for Ateneans and Lasallians to put aside their school rivalries and work together to help play a role in what he called one of the most important elections of the century.
“Tama na muna ‘yang mga Ateneo-La Salle na awayan. Mas mahalaga na ibigay ang ating sarili para sa bayan,” he emphasized.
(Let’s set aside the Ateneo-La Salle rivalry. It is more important for us to dedicate ourselves to the nation.)
Robredo also continued the theme of unity among the youth by saying that while the two schools may have their differences, they still belong to one nation. “Kasama ninyo akong nananawagan sa pagkakaisa,” she emphasized.
(I am with you in this call for unity.)
To fight and stand up
As the 2022 elections draw near, Diokno emphasized that students must choose a leader based on their political potential—someone who can converse and listen to what people need.
To further stress his point, the human rights lawyer reiterated that the younger generation will be the ones deciding who the next president will be.
“Ang kailangan natin yung mga lider na talagang may hugot sa ating inang bayan at nagmamahal sa taong bayan,” he stated.
(What we need are leaders who are dedicated to our country and who love its countrymen.)
Aquino affirmed Diokno’s statement, stating, “’Yung pinaglalaban natin, it’s our future. So we really need to fight and stand up,” as he urged the youth to fight for their rights.
When asked about how to ensure the safety of youth activists, Carpio explained that one of the most important issues that the youth needs to be wary of is the Anti-Terrorism Law.
“So, any time there is an attempt by [the] government to curtail our freedom, we must oppose. Because if you don’t oppose, you lose…until it becomes part of the normal state of things where you have lost your civil liberties,” he stated.
Nevertheless, the leaders who partook in the discussion came to the same conclusion that there is a need for change in Philippine politics and that it can happen through the youth.
“We should be there to support each other and I think ‘yung mga institutions have to play a role in supporting the students,” Aquino declared.