By Gillian Jalosjos and Ranjie Nocete | May 9, 2022
Despite Silliman University (SU) remaining politically neutral, the Silliman University Faculty Association (SUFA) and Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) Executive and Legislative Branch declared their political stances in the 2022 national elections.
SUFA, in their Facebook post, released their senatorial list which included Teddy Baguilat, Jojo Binay, Neri Colmenares, Chel Diokno, Luke Espiritu, Samira Gutoc, Risa Hontiveros, Elmer Labog, Alex Lacson, Sonny Matula, and Minguita Padilla.
“These candidates are advocates of labor rights or human rights. We believe in their advocacy hence their inclusion in our list. And yes, you may include de Lima in your list,” it said.
Meanwhile, SUSG in a statement of support, has endorsed Vice-President Leni Robredo and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan for President and Vice President, respectively.
According to Myka Reambonanza, SUSG president Myka Reambonanza, the decision to show their support last May 5 was to avoid a premature endorsement that did not reflect the actual voice of the studentry and the larger Silliman community.
SUFA also urged SU to take a stand in the upcoming elections and questioned its neutrality of not being “true to their commitment to being a university”
SUFA vice-president Dr. Karl James Villarmea, said that the Christian institution’s role is to provide knowledge that “will contribute to the common public good.”
They also expressed their endorsement of Team Kasaligan, local leaders in Dumaguete.
According to SUFA President Mark Te, their public statement is a call to awaken students and members of the academic personnel – especially in the university.
SUFA and SUSG expressed their desire to defend Philippine democracy in their published statements.
Villarmea also said, “It’s about having a kind of political order that was fought for, for decades in fact.”
He emphasized the vision and mission of Silliman University, and cited a line from the mission statement, “Instill in all members of the university community an enlightened social consciousness and a deep sense of justice and compassion.”
Without fulfilling its vision and mission, he likened Silliman to a “diploma mill”.
Reambonanza believed that the endorsement is part of a larger call for the youth to stand their ground and make their voices heard.
“The Leni-Kiko endorsement is a form of invitation from the SUSG to the youth, to look into the candidates whom we believe embody the values of integrity, excellence, and service,” she ended.