Ateneo hit for saying student protests outside campus ‘not sanctioned’ by university

November 20, 2020 - 7:23 PM
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Kabataan Partylist joins youth strike in front of the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City (Kabataan/Released)

Ateneo de Manila University on Friday issued a statement saying that the street protests calling out the current administration which took place this week in front of its campus are “not sanctioned “by the university.

The university was referring to the assembly that just took place Friday and also the previous event last Tuesday.

“Ateneo de Manila University is aware of a protest assembly scheduled today, Friday, 20 November 2020, set to begin at the gates of the Loyola Heights campus. Please be aware that this protest activity and the one held last 17 November are not in any way sanctioned by the University,” it said.

This, however, earned disappointment and criticisms from some members of its community as well as from other Filipinos.

“What even was the point of releasing a statement like this? Disappointment doesn’t even cut it. Guess hand washing > actually saying something about everything that’s happened,” one user said.

“I love you, Ateneo. But I don’t see the need to release a statement like this,” another wrote.

At 4 p.m., the College Editors Guild of the Philippines reported that multi-sectoral groups gathered in front of the ADMU campus in Quezon City to call for an academic break and denounce the government’s response to the national concerns.

They used the hashtags #YouthStrikePH and #NationalAcadBreakNow,” and #OustDuterteNow in their posts of the event online.

“Multi-sectoral groups hold a #YouthStrikePH in front of Ateneo de Manila University to denounce Duterte’s criminal negligence on the pandemic, education, and calamities, November 20,” the post read.

Some progressive groups that participated are Anakbayan, Panday Sining UST, Kilusang Mayo Uno and Kabataan Party-list Intramuros.

Last Tuesday, various youth groups and students from several universities also mobilized in front of the ADMU Gate 2 as part of the celebration of the International Students’ Day.

Rep. Sarah Elago (Kabataan Party-list) also joined the youth strike on that day.

Despite the student strike, the Commission on Higher Education Chair Prospero de Vera III said in an interview with CNN Philippines that the decision to suspend the academic year is up to the colleges and universities.

Aside from the rally, more than 500 students last Saturday signed an online pledge on non-submission of their requirements “until the national government heeds the people’s demands for proper calamity aid and pandemic response.”

The Sanggunian, the sole autonomous student government of the ADMU, later said that the university body crafted a revised version of this to include a “no fail policy” and equal wages to faculty and staff, among others.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque also previously warned students who signed this online pledge that they will fail to graduate should they push through with their strike.

“Babagsak po kayo. Bilang isang dating propesor, kahit anong dahilan ang sinasabi niyong strike, ‘pag di kayo sumunod sa mga academic requirements, mawawalan kayo ng kinabukasan, ‘di kayo makaka-graduate sa Ateneo,” Roque said.

READ: Mass student strike petitioners unfazed by Roque’s ‘babagsak kayo’ warning