A Statement of the University Council of the University of the Philippines Diliman
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has no basis to continue in office.
On 13 July 2005, at the height of the Garci Scandal, the University Council (UC) of the University of the Philippines Diliman — called on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to resign immediately. She did not resign.
The UC observed that all her acts are “a direct assault on nearly all the values we hold sacred in the academe.”
Since then, there has been an unprecedented number of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances — which includes two U.P. students, Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan.
Corruption in the highest places continues unabated and remains unaddressed. Institutions which were created by the Constitution or the law to safeguard accountability have either been ineffective or rendered ineffective.
Official government response to requests for information on matters of public concern has been to thwart the truth either by the invocation of Executive Privilege or by threats issued to the working media. The exercise of basic freedoms has been met with repressive measures such the Calibrated Pre-emptive Response (CPR) and Presidential Proclamation 1017. This criminal regime resorts to kidnapping and massive bribery to prevent the truth from coming out.
Despite GMA’s insistence that she does not tolerate corruption, she has been forced by public pressure to admit that she knew about the kickbacks long before the Senate investigations on the NBN-ZTE deal. As a result, she has entrapped herself in a web of lies.
When GMA is caught lying, she either stonewalls or orders an investigation which churns out prefabricated results. These actions are in stark contrast with two objectives which are cherished by the University — getting at the truth and forging a democratic society. Both of these are obviously anathema to GMA.
Public Office is a public trust. All public officials are accountable to the people at all times. This is one of the core principles enshrined in our Constitution. The President’s previous silence on the anomalous NBN-ZTE deal and her belated admission of prior knowledge violate this core principle. This is only the latest of her violations.
As an academic community we know that the truth cannot be found in Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
In UP’s Centennial year, the faculty continues to uphold its tradition of being one with our people. We commit ourselves to the struggle to build a progressive society and a responsible and accountable government which subscribes to the principle that sovereignty resides in the people and all governmental authority emanates from them.
But first, GMA must go!
The statement was unanimously approved by the UP Diliman University Council. 27 February 2008