Declaration of the University Council
University of the Philippines Manila

We are once again confronted with a serious political crisis caused by the series of exposes of big-time corruption and bribery involving top officials of the Arroyo administration. As responsible and concerned members of the University of the Philippines Manila academic community, we believe it is our duty and right to make our voices heard and to take a stand on the social ills affecting everyone of us.

We believe that integrity and accountability in public office have been severely compromised putting in serious doubt the credibility and legitimacy of the present political dispensation and therefore its capacity to govern.

We are gravely concerned with the persistence of a culture of impunity with the government‒ indifference and inutility in prosecuting and punishing all those involved in cases of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and torture. We condemn the continued disappearance of two UP students: Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno. There is no place for these human rights violations in a democratic society.

We are outraged by moves of the Arroyo administration to silence witnesses to anomalies and prevent people from participating in peaceful assemblies to express their sentiments.

As professors of UP Manila, we cannot teach our students integrity, service, justice, and good governance if we remain silent in the face of the present national crisis in leadership with such severity as the one we are facing now. We cannot be silent that in the midst of hunger, disease, and other forms of deprivations of our people, billions of public money go into the private bank accounts of unscrupulous government officials and their relatives.

As the Health Science Center of the University of the Philippines System, we are appalled by the deteriorating health conditions and violations of the people’s right to health. Money that should be used to help save lives, prevent the rise of infectious diseases, and improve the well-being of ordinary Filipinos, and even to fund universal health care, are lost through a system that is permeated by graft and corruption from the barangay level to the highest level of government.

Thus, we are convinced that the search for truth, justice, and good governance in the midst of charges and allegations must be relentlessly pursued especially at this time that the moral ascendancy of the Arroyo administration is being raised.

As an academic institution, we state our stand for truth, accountability, and justice.

1. We CONDEMN the culture of corruption and impunity characterizing the present political dispensation, and continue to assert for real change in governance by exercising the peopleâ€s rights of peaceful assembly, to information, and to take active steps to ensure that our fundamental rights and freedoms are protected.

2. We JOIN the Filipino people in asserting their rights by being actively involved in the search for truth and justice.

3. We SUPPORT the call of the Filipino people for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to resign now!

We are one with the Filipino people in their struggle for the truth, justice, and good governance.

Members of the University Council, UP Manila
10 March 2008

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