Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rebel Lolo

I had the chance to meet then UP President Dodong Nemenzo a few years back. I was (unfortunately) seated next to him at my rockstar professor's get-together in Silungan. Obviously, I didn't know what to say to him. How can you make conversation with the UP President?!? Well, with all the young people talking across and around him, I'm sure he felt out of place. So after some time he finally stood up and moved elsewhere. Dodong was old then. Much older now. He seemed like a harmless lolo contently watching over his grandchildren. So really its quite ridiculous pinning him with charges of rebellion.


Roland G. Simbulan
Professor and Faculty Regent
U.P. System

I join the U.P. academic community in expressing solidarity and support to our faculty colleague and former University of the Philippines President Francisco "Dodong" Nemenzo, Jr., who is being charged with "rebellion"and "obstruction of justice". The charges are reminiscent of the 1950s when U.P. faculty members who were known to have progressive and nationalist views were witchhunted by the Congressional Committee on "Un-Filipino activities" and accused of being Communists and conspirators. Those hysterical and red-baiting hearings only exposed the intolerance of the Philippine oligarchy and their counterpart American Cold Warriors in the U.S. Embassy, towards peasant and worker unrest which had found sympathetic allies in the academe, especially among our faculty ranks.

The charges against our colleague Dodong Nemenzo only manifest the desperation of the illegal occupant in Malacanang who is now retaliating against leaders of the broad opposition. Dodong Nemenzo is the President of the Laban ng Masa, a coalition of NGOs and people's organizations, which has been actively questionning the legitimacy of the despot in Malacanang in the aftermath of the fraudulent 2004 Presidential elections. Even opposition mayors like Mayor Jejomar Binay of Makati are being charged with all kinds of allegations, even while corrupt pro-administration politicians are being acquitted or protected.

The charges of rebellion against our U.P. colleague Nemenzo and 40 others are an attempt to crack down on dissent and to silence the legal opposition. I call on all our colleagues in the U.P. Academic Community to support the ideals and principles which our former University president stands for. Let us resist the violent attacks and harassments from despots who will soon be properly consigned to the dustbin of history.

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