Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Elitist Education !!!

When Erap was in power, he was surrounded by the bright girls and boys from the University of the Philippines. When Erap left Malacanang most of the U.P. crowd also left and were replaced by the bright ones of Ateneo de Manila University. Thus, to this day GMA enjoys the undivided loyalty of her Ateneo stalwarts.

I was still parish priest and chaplain at U.P. Diliman during Erap’s time. Many of the faculty and students were quite disappointed at how some illustrious U.P. faculty members continue to serve in Erap’s cabinet. The sympathetic arguments insist on giving both Erap and his U.P. stalwarts a chance. The unsympathetic arguments were snide remarks on how some educators are easy to compromise their values and principles over a share of “pork.”

It is understandable when a president enlists the services of experts from particular academic institutions. It is perfectly understandable that these experts from the Academe would be open and willing to offer their expertise not only to the president but to the country and the people that the president serves. Yet, when the president begins to show signs that instead of serving her country and people, she is serving only her own interests, which are deleterious to national interest, and then it is time to resign. When it also becomes clear that her interests coincide not with the needs of the majority who are poor but the whims and fancy of an elite, then it is even a moral duty not only to resign but more so denounce the blatant elitism as a betrayal of public trust.

It has been announced that the foundress of the Religious of the Assumption, Marie Euginie will be canonized in Rome on June 3,2007. To celebrate the momentous event, the Religious of the Assumption have invited GMA, an alumna to join them in Rome. In an article written by Conrad de Quiros entitled “Presumption,” he expresses alarm at how a school as prestigious as Assumption College can invite GMA and presume that she likewise represents some of the very life values that Marie Eugenie is being canonized for. The new saint valiantly fought for truth, social justice and peace in the France of her time. Today, many will not only doubt but vehemently disagree that GMA fights for truth, social justice and peace.

GMA indeed fights for the “truth of Garci,” the “social justice of big Mining Corporations,” and the “peace of extra-judicial killings.”

What happens when a school produces a president? What happened when Erap became president? Ateneo held a big party where the Alumni honored its most illustrious alumnus. What happened when Gloria became president? You can see Assumption sisters and alumnae in Malacanang praying over GMA and congratulating her for work well done.

What do the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila and Assumption College have in common aside from having produced presidents of the Republic? They all have the tendency to promote and preserve certain interests, namely that of the institution, their benefactors and their illustrious alumni and alumnae as well.

Unfortunately, the majority of our people did not and could not study at U.P., Ateneo and Assumption. Why? Simple, because the majority of our people are poor!

By inviting GMA to attend the canonization of Marie Eugenie in Rome, the Assumption Sisters probably think that this could add more prestige and nobility to the occasion. Really? Let us ask a poor girl who can only afford to study in some poor provincial college. Do you know Marie Eugenie, foundress of the Assumption? Do you know that GMA attended her canonization?

I dare not answer and speak for the poor girl from some provincial college. But I am sure your guess may be as good as mine.

Fr. Roberto P. Reyes
March 28, 2007


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