Student activists of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) have upheld their right to express their views by joining progressive groups.
This is after UST-Senior High School allegedly punished a Grade 12 student of non-readmission for allegedly joining the Anakbayan group, one of the militant organizations that are not recognized at the university.
Non-readmission means student Datu Zaldy “Shoti” Ampatuan will not be able to enroll in the next academic year.
According to Ampatuan, he received a show-cause notice on December 4, 2020, after he announced on Facebook the membership of Anakbayan UST-SHS.
“It was truly heartbreaking and I felt as if the future which lies ahead of me is now uncertain, I felt really hopeless. And right now, I’m really trying my best to recover…it has been agonizing po,” said Ampatuan.
Ampatuan is also worried that he may not be able to go to another school because UST will not give him a certificate of good moral character.
Ruth Dizon of the UST-SHS Student Council stressed that the existing 1987 Constitution is still higher, which recognizes the right to participate in organizations that peacefully promote various interests.
UST condemned for non-readmission of student activist
“While it is understandable na we need to abide by the existing guidelines and policies as much as possible, it is to take note that the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines is and will remain the highest form of constitution by nature and that’s why they must never take away the freedom that we exercise for our own integrity and for our social responsibilities by speaking out,” said Dizon.
The UST student handbook and enrollment conforme recognize organizations that promote the mission and vision of the university, and only then can students participate.
The university also does not allow illegal strikes or rallies and the conduct of boycott, parades or marches, and other types of gatherings that will make noise or disturbance.
Aside from Ampatuan, 2 other students recently received a show-cause memo due to joining organizations not recognized by the university.
According to other students, the alleged repression of the university leadership was repressive and ungodly.