{waiting watching wishing}
Monday, February 23, 2009

Specific Program of Action
SIMOUN ANTONIO M. SALINAS - 2nd year, Juris Doctor

: With the new Law Student Government (LSG) constitution, the powers of the College of Law Representative have increased. With that, BIDA ANG BATAS is a comprehensive year-long action plan that intends to maximize the potential of the LSG and the University Student Council (USC).

Dapat ang LAW REP, parating may SCRA: Services, Campaigns, Reforms and Activities!

BIDA SA SERBISYO: At the start of the semester, there will be a De-blocking Grievance System that will work in coordination with the OCS and the Reg Com to ensure that there will be a thorough assessment of the entire process, as well as any other problems. Feedback will be given to the Volunteer Corps of the Law Rep, and will be consolidated in order to present it in an orderly and immediate fashion to the OCS.

BIDA SA SAYA: There will be strategic planning and possible seed money for all batch solidarity activities, including acquaintance parties, to ensure maximum impact and consolidation. This will be presented to the USC Ways and Means Committee for potential initial funding, as well as assistance in sponsorship. There will also be maximum utilization of the batch representatives, especially those from the evening students. From there, the representatives will form the Batch Activity Committee, supervised by the LSG for all activities to take place within the year.

BIDA SA SISTEMA: In order to ensure awareness of the most pressing local and national issues, we will publish Issues Spotting, a monthly pamphlet of the most pressing local issues and national campaigns of the USC and other concerns of the LSG and the legal profession. Also, at least once a semester, there will be a USC General Assembly held in the LSG Room, open to all orgs and batch representatives, to bring the USC to the College.

-Deputy Head,
Information Management Committee, UP Bar Operations, 2008

▪ Vice
President, Block C-2011, College of Law, 2008-present

▪ Programs
Head, Malcolm Madness, College
of Law , 2008

▪ Programs
Head, Ms. Freshman, College
of Law , 2008

▪ Member, Law
Student Government (LSG) Secretary Volunteer Corps, 2007-2008

▪ Organizer
and Webmaster, UPLSG.com, 2008-present

▪ Content Head, Aesthetics Advisory Committee,
Office of the Dean, College of Law, 2008-present ▪ Scholar, OpenLexProject
Scholarship Program ,


▪ Member,
Secretariat and Program Core Committee, UP College of Law
Assistance Development and Preparatory Training (ADAPT), 2008

▪ #2
Councilor, UP Manila
University Student
Council, 2006-2007

▪ BA
Organizational Communication Graduate, UP Manila ,

▪ Vice Lord Chancellor, UP Alpha Sigma
Fraternity, 2003-2006

coordinator: AMPLIFIED: The 2009 UP Fair

-VP for Corporate Affairs, Philippine
Junior Marketing Association (2006-2007)


▪ Research
Assistant, UP Institute of Human Rights


Posted by arianne at 10:47 PM

Monday, February 09, 2009
{Acasio-Gutierrez (ALYANSA) sa USC!!! }

Niña Acasio - USC Chairperson!
Joseph Gutierrez - USC Vice Chairperson!

Niña Acasio
USC Chairperson
BS Industrial Engineering ▪ Councilor, University Student Council (USC), 2007-2008 ▪ College of Engineering Representative, USC, 2006-2007 ▪ Most Idyllic Sister, UP Sigma Beta Sorority, 2008- 2009 ▪ Order and Distribution Coordinator, UP Centennial Planner, USC, 2007-2008 ▪ Project Coordinator, League of College Councils Cup (LCC Sports Fest), USC, 2007-2008 ▪ Finance Officer, UP Fair, USC, 2007-2008 ▪ Cultural Organizations Network Coordinator, Committee on Culture and the Arts, USC, 2007-2008 ▪ Member, Finance Committee, USC, 2007-2008 ▪ Member, Sports and Fitness Committee, USC, 2007-2008 ▪ Vice President for Security, Management of Environment, Security, and Health (MESH) Committee, USC, 2006-2007 ▪ Sororities Coordinator, Dormitories, Organizations, Fraternities, and Sororities (DOFS) Committee, USC, 2006-2007 ▪ Programs Committee Co-Head, USC Night, UP Fair, 2007 ▪ Project Head, GE Book Lending Program, USC, 2006-2007 ▪ Ex-Officio Member, Engineering Student Council (ESC), 2006-2007
Project Co-head, Engineering Convocation, USC/ESC, 2007 ▪ Idyllic Sister of Graces, UP Sigma Beta Sorority, 2007-2008 ▪ Marketing Head, Sisfire 6: A Full Blast Love Affair, UP Fair, 2008 ▪ Member, UP Industrial Engineering Club (IE Club), 2003-present ▪ Member, UP Alliance for Responsive Involvement and Student Empowerment (ARISE), 2006-present ▪ President, Student Council, Philippine Cultural High School (PCHS), 2002-2003 ▪ Recipient, Leadership Excellence Award, PCHS, 2003

Joseph Gutierrez
USC Vice Chairperson
BS Business Administration and Accountancy ▪ Cum Laude Standing ▪ Councilor, University Student Council (USC), 2008-2009 ▪ Chairperson, Vinzons Hall Committee (Vinzons UPgrade), USC, 2008-2009 ▪ Project Head, ‘Sang Daan Tungong Vinzons (Vinzons UPgrade Launch), 2008 ▪ Councilor for External Affairs, College of Business Administration Student Council (BAC), 1st Semester, 2007-2008 ▪ Councilor for Finance, BAC, 2nd Semester, 2007-2008 ▪ Councilor for Operations, BAC, 1st Semester, 2006-2007 ▪ Councilor for External Affairs, BAC, 2nd Semester, 2006-2007 ▪ Head, BAC Auxiliary Corps, BAC, 1st Semester, 2006-2007 ▪ Head, BA-ECON-STAT Sports Fest (BEST), 2007 ▪ Literary Editor, Lumine (Official Newsletter of the UP Junior Marketing Association), 1st Semester, 2006-2007 ▪ Co-Chairperson, Externals Committee, UP Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants (JPIA), 2nd Semester 2007-2008 ▪ Chairperson, Operations Committee, UP Circle of Entrepreneurs (CE), 2nd Semester, 2005-2006; 1st Semester, 2006-2007 ▪ Project Head, 7th Young Entrepreneurs’ Convention, UP CE, 2006 ▪ Member, AIESEC UP Diliman, 2006-present ▪ Operations Committee Director, UP Junior Finance Association (JFA), 2nd Semester, 2007-2008 ▪ Assistant Director for Marketing, UP Career Assistance Program (CAP) CBA-SE, 2007-2008 ▪ Member, UP Association of Business Administration Majors (ABAM), 2006-present ▪ Member, UP Dragonboat Team, 2005 ▪ Founding Member, UP Society of Emancipated Men (UP SEMen), 2006-present ▪ Literary Editor, XS Metamorphosis (Xavier High School Yearbook), 2005

Posted by arianne at 5:43 PM

Sunday, January 25, 2009
{Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Student Regent and the Upcoming Referendum}

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Student Regent and the Upcoming Referendum

Who is the Student Regent, anyway?
The Board of Regents (BOR) is UP's highest policy and decision-making body. The Student Regent (SR) is the SOLE student representative to the BOR. The SR is selected from among our ranks to represent us in the BOR. The SR is very important as he/she is OUR voice and represents OUR interests in the BOR.

How is the Student Regent selected?
We don’t elect a Student Regent (SR) through direct elections. Instead, a body called the General Assembly of Student Councils (GASC) which consists of all local and university student councils throughout the ENTIRE UP System convenes twice a year. The first GASC is usually held during the semestral break in order to discuss and ratify the Codified Rules for Student Regent Selection (CRSRS) while the second is held in December to deliberate upon and choose the SR from among the nominees.

The nominees are those nominated by individual students and organizations all over the UP system. Autonomous units like UP Baguio, Manila, Diliman, Los Banos and Mindanao get two votes each, while other constituent units like UP Visayas Tacloban College gets a vote. Ideally, the SR is selected via consensus, but in the absence of such, through a majority vote.

What's so different about this year's GASC?
Last December, the student councils were convened as the GASC. Unlike previous years wherein the councils met at an earlier date to deliberate upon the CRSRS, the councils were convened only once in order to discuss what question would be subject to the referendum mandated by RA 9500.

But wait, what exactly is a referendum?
“A referendum is a means of assessing public reaction to the given issues submitted to the people for their consideration. It is consultative in character (Philippine Law Dictionary, 2005)” It is essentially a process wherein a population via direct vote is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposition. The winning proposition is the one which obtains the largest number of votes.

What is the upcoming referendum for?
Republic Act 9500 otherwise known as the UP Charter of 2008 which was signed into law on 29 April 2008, provided that a referendum by the students should be held to ratify the rules and qualifications for the selection of the SR. Essentially, each and every UP Student is given the opportunity to participate in this exercise and let his/her voice be heard with regard to the selection process of the SR. This referendum for the ratification of the CRSRS is scheduled on January 26-29, 2009.

How many votes would it take to make the referendum successful?
50%+1 of all qualified voters, in our case, students currently enrolled. If such number is not met, then the referendum would have failed.

What happens if the 50% + 1 requirement is met, but the NO votes outnumber the YES votes (assuming the ballot question remains unchanged)?
The referendum will be considered successful, but the CRSRS of 2007 has been disapproved.

So why all this fuss about the upcoming referendum?
We are going to be asked to approve or disapprove the CRSRS in its entirety, with a referendum question phrased like this:

Do you approve of the EXISTING Codified Rules for Student Regent Selection (CRSRS) as rules and qualifications to govern the selection of our student representative to the UP Board of Regents?
( ) YES ( ) NO

However, it is the contention of some that such question not only severely restricts and limits the choice of the students, but also completely disregards proposals submitted by different individuals and groups. Such would have allowed the students more options from which to choose.

What were the amendments proposed?
Among others:
a. Minimum academic requirement for the Student Regent
b. Excluding any mention of Kasama sa UP (an organization of some student councils) from the existing rules
c. Changing the voting system from giving a set number of votes per campus (e.g. Diliman-2 votes, Visayas-1 vote) to giving a vote to each college. Some proposals also include giving bigger campuses a proportionally larger number of votes.
d. Adding specific duties to the office of the Student Regent

So why were these proposed amendments not considered in the final question of the referendum?
When the different student councils met to discuss the referendum, it was argued that since the meeting was a special meeting the councils could not act as a policy-making body. In other words, the councils had no power to decide to include the amendments in the referendum question.

Okay so when the students answer the question in the referendum, they’ll answer either yes or no. What happens in either case?
YES would mean that the existing CRSRS will remain in place and the Student Regent will be chosen accordingly. NO has a number of implications: The current SR remains as such pending the holding of another referendum to approve a set of rules for the selection of the SR. If the incumbent SR resigns or for some reason becomes disqualified from holding the position, the OSR will be declared vacant, and we will have to follow the status quo ante in selecting her replacement (as per RA 9500)

Let’s talk about the CORE ISSUE. Is this referendum essentially an affirmation or rejection of the OSR?
A vote of yes/no only amounts to the approval/disapproval of the CRSRS of 2007, and not the OSR itself. Such Office is mandated by law and cannot simply be abolished by a referendum. Furthermore, legislation and cases decided by our Supreme Court provide mechanisms to ensure that the OSR will not be vacant as the law abhors a vacuum.

Would saying NO to the status quo necessitate the abolition of the Office of the Student Regent?
Staying the public referendum, or achieving a NO vote, would not under any circumstance abolish or render vacant the Office of the Student Regent (OSR). The OSR is a public office and as such, the SR is a public officer. He/she has the mandate to continue holding the position until his/her successor has been appointed (Lecaroz v. Sandiganbayan 305 SCRA 396), and if the student regent can no longer hold office, the vacancy will be filled in the same manner as the predecessor (Section 2, par 2 R.A. 9500). Thus if the CRSRS is not approved, it is not true that we will have no SR, or that we will be at the mercy of a Malacañang appointee.

Why should I care?
The Student Regent is our representative in the highest policy making body of the University, the Board of Regents. Important decisions that ultimately affect US are decided by the BOR. As our SOLE representative, the SR has the duty to ensure that our interests are represented in the Board.
Choose to Know is an alliance of concerned members of the University Student Council of Diliman, student councils from across the UP System, student leaders, students and political parties formed in order to ensure that the referendum will not be rendered a wasteful exercise and the integrity of the democratic process of upheld.

Posted by arianne at 8:18 PM

Saturday, January 24, 2009
{MYTHBUSTERS re Student Regent Referendum}

Myth # 1: The question in the upcoming referendum is "Do you still want student representation in the Board of Regents?"

Observation: The Student Regent herself, in a statement released last January 16, stated that the one and only question in the upcoming referendum will be: "Do you approve of the existing Codified Rules on Student Regent Selection (CRSRS) as rules and qualifications to govern the selection of our student regent to the UP Board of Regents?" [Yes] or [No]

Status: Busted.

Myth #2: The Office of the Student Regent will be abolished if the NO vote wins in the upcoming referendum.

Observation: The upcoming referendum may only have an effect on the rules that we use in selecting the Student Regent.  In no way may a vote of NO by us in the referendum abolish the said office – a position created by law and which may only be abolished by a subsequent law.

Status: Busted.

Myth #3: The students will never have a CRSRS (Codified Rules on Student Regent Selection) if the NO vote wins.

Observation: The UP Charter (sec. 12 [1.g.]) specifically states that the Student Regent shall be chosen by the students in accordance with the rules and qualifications approved in a referendum by the students.  Nothing in the law states that a vote of NO will bar any rules for selecting the SR from being set.  A NO vote is a edict by the students that they reject the old CRSRS as the rules in selecting the SR, and therefore is a command that a new one must be proposed before them for their approval.

Status: Busted.

Myth #4: There will no longer be any Student Regent if the NO vote wins.

Observation: We again look at the law.  The UP Charter (sec. 12 [1]) states that the Board of Regents shall be composed of, among others, one Student Regent.  By law (Lecaroz v. Sandiganbayan) a public officer is entitled to stay in office until his (or her) successor is chosen and has qualified.  In other words, the current Student Regent may temporarily hold over her position until her successor is selected through a legitimate set of rules.

Status: Busted.

Myth #5: Assuming that the NO vote wins, if the current Student Regent graduates or resigns from her post, it will be the administration who will select her successor.  Our independent representation in the BOR is in danger from attacks through admin-intervention.

Observation: Let us quote Section 12 (1 [g]) of the UP Charter: "One Student Regent, to serve for a term of one (1) year, chosen by the students from their ranks in accordance with rules and qualifications approved in a referendum by the students;"  There is no question that the law mandates that only the students may choose the Student Regent.  Any act by the administration to appoint the SR will surely be annulled by the court due to it being contrary to law.

Status: Busted.

Myth #6: We will have no Student Regent to represent us if the NO vote wins and the current Student Regent eventually graduates or resigns because the process to select the SR has been rejected by the students.  No rules = no process = no Student Regent shall be selected.

Observation: The UP Charter has also given us a remedy for this situation.  Section 12, paragraph 2 of the said Charter states that in case of vacancy, such shall be filled in the same manner as provided for her predecessor.  In as much as the current Student Regent may temporarily hold-over her post until her successor has been selected through a valid set of rules, the current CRSRS may also be temporarily retained as the rules to select a temporary Student Regent until an official one has been selected through a legal set of rules.

Status: Busted.

Myth #7: The councils failed to recommend their amendments on time.  The deadline for filing amendments is set by the CRSRS on the first day of October.  No proposals were given to the OSR before such date.

Observation: It may be true that the first day of October is indeed the deadline for submitting proposed amendments under the old CRSRS.  However, we must also take the following into consideration:

a.    The practice for the past ten years is for the GASC to convene twice annually: once in October to approve the CRSRS (and any amendments proposed thereto) and again in December to select the SR by implementing the rules approved during the October session.  The wisdom behind setting the October 1 deadline, therefore, must have been to ensure that all proposals are submitted before the October GASC session.  For everyone's information, the October 2008 GASC was unilaterally cancelled by the SR due to the upcoming referendum.

b.    The Student Regent circulated letters to the local student councils indicating her intention to visit each one of them from October until December, to consult on what must be done in the referendum.  It is not difficult to imagine that any rational student council at that point believed that the SR's agenda at that time, among others, must have been to seek suggestions on the probable referendum question.  Considering that the at the SR's scheduled consultations with the said councils the October 1 deadline would have already lapsed, one may logical infer that the October 1 deadline must have been also suspended together with the October GASC session.

c.    Article V, section 1 of the CRSRS mandates the SR to inform all student councils, through official memo, of all pertinent information vital to the process of selecting the Regent.  A new law was passed commanding that the rules for selecting the SR must be passed in a referendum.  A rational SR must have concluded then that the councils are in a state of limbo on how to go about selecting the said rules.  The presumption of regularity has been shattered.  Yet, despite this state, the SR still failed to inform the student councils that the October 1 deadline still stands.

Status: Plausible.


Posted by arianne at 9:08 PM

Monday, January 19, 2009
{SR Junks Appeal}

The Student Regent rejected on Friday proposals from several student groups to include alternative questions for the January 26-31 referendum.

In a statement released last January 16, Student Regent Shan Abdulwahid reiterated her earlier decision to submit only one question to the students during the referendum:

"Do you approve of the existing Codified Rules for Student Regent Selection (CRSRS) as rules and qualifications to govern the selection of our student representative to the UP Board of Regents?"

SR Abdulwahid denied the protest-appeal submitted by 13* student councils and several student leaders to include specific questions regarding proposed amendments to the Codified Rules for Student Regent Selection (CRSRS). According to the proponent councils, such amendments would provide voting students with options, unlike the present question which "only pushes students to the wall" for a "yes" vote.

In a 6-page decision, SR Abdulwahid said that RA 9500 provides only for a referendum rather than an initiative. While the former gives constituents the power to approve or reject legislation, the latter allows them to propose and enact legislation.

SR Abdulwahid also cited Republic Act 9500 of the UP Charter of 2008, stating that under the current CRSRS, "proposed changes thereto should be submitted to the Office Of The Student Regent not later than the first day of October" (i.e. October 1, 2008) and that such rules "may be changed through the majority vote of all the student councils of the UP system." If these two conditions are met, then such changes become "valid and proposed amendments" to the CRSRS, and can thus be put to a vote of yes or no among the students.

The student councils and student leaders who appealed, collectively known as the Choose to Know Alliance, criticized the SR's decision as a manifestation of her unwillingness to yield to the substantial merits of the proposal by resorting to and insisting on mere technicalities.

The Alliance said the SR could not invoke the October 1 deadline for submission of amendments since it was set without consultation, contrary to Article IX of the CRSRS. Said provision states that, "The dates and periods pertinent to the selection process in the college, and system levels shall be fixed by the OSR with the consent of all the USCs and regional units."

The Alliance also questioned the SR's interpretation of a referendum as involving only a single question and her reliance on the ruling in Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 125416, September 26, 1996).

Sophia San Luis, the College of Law Representative to the University Student Council (USC), said "There is nothing in the laws and jurisprudence cited that says there should only be one question in a referendum. In fact, in Sanidad v. Comelec, the Supreme Court upheld a referendum where there was more than one question in the ballot."

The Law Representative argued that the case cited by the SR is inapplicable. "The laws cited in the abovementioned case were created for a specific purpose. RA 6735 Section 3 says, 'For purposes of this Act, the following terms shall mean…'"

"What this tells us is that the purpose of the definition that followed was limited specifically to initiative and referendum in order to amend the constitution, statutes or local legislation. As stated in the case of Defensor v. Roco (G.R. No. 127325), "R.A. No. 6735 was, as its history reveals, intended to cover initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution, " and the CRSRS does not, by any means, fall under this," she said.

Following the SR's "final statement" on the matter, the student councils and student leaders strongly condemned the decision of the SR to make the process "undemocratic by taking away choices from the students, while hiding behind unsound technicalities of her own inaction".

Meanwhile, students from different UP units have continued to rally behind the proposal. Student council members, organization officers, alumni, and non-partisan students, have signed and expressed their support to the Manifesto of Protest and Appeal to the Student Regent posted at http://choose2know.multiply.com.

The Manifesto denounced the earlier decision of the OSR to limit the referendum question to a mere "yes or no" saying that "such a decision is an affront to elementary concepts of democratic consultation and maximum student participation. " It called on the SR to include amendments to the upcoming referendum. The Student Regent has stuck to her decision notwithstanding mounting protests from various sectors for her to do otherwise.

The Choose to Know Alliance is a group comprised of student councils, student leaders and organizations, with support from ALYANSA and KAISA, formed in order to ensure that the referendum will not be a wasteful exercise of sovereignty.

* Not twenty as was inadvertently reported earlier.

Posted by arianne at 6:22 PM

Thursday, January 15, 2009


In a statement released last week by the student council of the UPD College of Mass Communication (CMC-SC), it was said that:

“Also, these colleges with amendments were asked to show the body the quantitative and qualitative data of the consultations they said to have made. As transparency was requested, they refused to show any data. A representative of the Law Student Government even admitted they did not hold consultations with the students of the said college, citing constraints in schedule. We ask: if these amendments did not come from a consensus from the students, how can democracy be ensured, then.”

We feel that we need to respond to this and clarify the matter as there are insinuations of non-transparency and non-consultation. We do this not for the benefit of the CMC-SC (because we owe it no explanation) , but for the benefit of our constituents in the College of Law .

First. There is no single way of conducting a consultation. Given the block system in our college, it has always been customary practice for the LSG EB to conduct its consultations through the General Assembly of Representatives (GA)—a body composed of block presidents—and for the latter to present its concerns to the former, simply because this symbiosis has proven to be most efficient and expedient.

Last December, the LSG conducted its consultation by circulating a primer on the Office of the Student Regent (OSR) and Codified Rules on Student Regent Selection (CRSRS) prepared by the Law Representative, as well as the primer and open letter released by the incumbent Student Regent. The GA representatives were then asked to discuss the matter with their respective blocks and to submit to the EB any proposal that they may have to amend the CRSRS of 2007. None of the blocks were able to submit any proposal, so when we reported to the SR, we specifically indicated that there were no direct proposals from the blocks, but there were proposals coming from the EB itself. There is nothing unusual about this. As an EB, we are authorized under the LSG Constitution to represent the students in all matters affecting student rights and welfare. And as students, we, too, have a right to suggest rules that would eventually govern the selection of our student regent.

It is true that the EB was unable to conduct room-to-room (RTR) discussions, as it had originally planned, because of constraints in time and our individual schedules. But as pointed out above, our standard consultation practice has always been through the GA. Whether or not such will be supplemented with RTR discussions is discretionary. Even so, the LSG Secretary did notify the GA representatives that members of the EB would be willing to discuss the issue/s further in their classes should their blocks request us to do so.

No student council has a monopoly on the best way to consult its constituents. And if our own constituents point out the flaws in the way our consultation was done, we will acknowledge them and consider alternative ways to consult. But it is not for one student council to dismiss the efforts of another simply because of differences in method. Invoking the presumption of regularity is not a tactic to evade transparency; it is a presumption born out of respect for and a belief, in good faith, that each council conducted its consultations as sincerely as it could.

Second. “Consensus” and “majority” are not preconditions to a valid proposal of an amendment to the CRSRS. The CMC-SC asks, “if these amendments did not come from a consensus from the students, how can democracy be ensured, then.” Without even going into why democracy is not synonymous with consensus, we wish to point out that this question proceeds from a false premise: i.e., that an amendment must be proposed by a majority before it can be considered by the LSG, or by the GASC. Nowhere in our history, not even in the CRSRS of 2007, is there such a requirement. Please note that there is a difference between a proposal and its resolution. The former does not require a majority or any number for it to be validly made, but the latter does, which is why we have voting requirements whenever we hold the GASC. Deliberative bodies like Congress, and boards of both public and private corporations, do not require majority of its members to propose a matter before they deliberate upon it.

Third. Assuming without conceding that the amendments we proposed are “invalid” for having been “invalidly” done, there are still valid proposals from other student councils, other students. Including the proposals in the referendum is not equivalent to passing upon its merits, because that is precisely what the students will be deciding for themselves on January 26-29. Our point was simply to subject ALL the proposals, including the CRSRS of 2007, to the students’ vote. Thus, we suggested that the phrasing of the question be: "Which proposal do you think should govern the selection of the next SR?", and that the answers be "Proposal A (CRSRS of 2007), Proposal B (CRSRS of 2007, as amended by Student Council X), Proposal C (CRSRS of 2007, as amended by Student Council Y), Proposal D (CRSRS of 2007, as amended by Student Council Z)..." and so on. There are other ways to present the question, but it is clear that the referendum question, as it is currently worded, is oversimplified.

Obviously, a broader phrasing of the question would not foreclose the possibility of the CRSRS of 2007 being ratified through and through; thus, this should even be seen by its proponents as a chance to be vindicated.

To “unite” and ensure the approval of the CRSRS of 2007 now and to push for amendments later, may sound like a good compromise, but it is unlikely to happen. Because assuming the referendum (with its current phrasing of the question) does proceed and it succeeds, would it not be disrespectful for the GASC to immediately amend a set of rules that has been ratified by majority of the UP students?

We do not see how an expansion of the referendum question can threaten the OSR. The point is to have alternatives presented to the student body so that the Office may be strengthened and be made more credible. If there is anything we all agree on, it is that conducting a referendum is logistically and financially taxing. But since we have resolved to “rise to the challenge”, we must make sure that our undertaking is properly done. Why insist on taking short cuts when we already have the chance to maximize direct student participation?

Clearly, the danger of a failed referendum comes from the narrow and oversimplified phrasing of the question. By limiting the answer to a YES or NO, the issue has been severely slanted to appear as either an affirmation or rejection of the OSR, when the question does not even have to be answerable by a mere yes/no to begin with. A vote of yes/no only amounts to approving/disapprov ing the CRSRS of 2007, and not the OSR itself, because the law and jurisprudence provide for mechanisms to ensure that the OSR will not be vacant. Thus, it is patently dishonest to claim that if the CRSRS is not approved, we will have no SR, or that we will be at the mercy of a Malacañang appointee (see Referendum FAQs).

All these limiting of choices, the silencing of the minority, remind us of the dictum of an extremely conservative, right-wing leader—that “there is no alternative”.

But there are alternatives, and we call on our SR to allow us some options. There is no better way to ensure the failure of a referendum than by pushing a reasonable electorate up against a wall.

- The Executive Board, UP Law Student Government 2008-2009

15 January 2008

Posted by arianne at 7:35 PM

Wednesday, January 07, 2009
{FAQs re the Office of the Student Regent}

Who is the Student Regent, anyway?
UP is governed by the Board of Regents, our University’s highest policy-making body. Its policies directly affect our well-being. The Student Regent (SR), being a member of the Board, is selected from our ranks to represent us in their decision-making processes. That makes our SR an important person, as he/she represents our interests.

How do we select a Student Regent?
We don’t elect a Student Regent (SR) through a direct vote. Instead, a body called the General Assembly of Student Councils (GASC), composed of our elected student council members from the constituent units of the University, select the Student Regent, just like the way a parliament selects a prime minister.

The process of selecting a SR has two steps:

(1) The GASC meets in late October yearly in order to ratify the Codified Rules for Student Regent Selection (CRSRS), a document that is a sort of “rule book” for the selection process.

(2) They meet once again in December to select the SR, from a list of nominees forwarded by individual students and organizations all over the University system. Autonomous units like UP Baguio, Manila, Diliman, Los Banos and Mindanao get two votes each, while other constituent units like UP Visayas Tacloban College gets a vote. An SR is selected through majority vote of all constituent units of the University.

What is the upcoming referendum for?

The UP Charter of 2008, which was signed into law on 29 April 2008, provided that a referendum by the students should be held to ratify the rules and qualifications for the selection of the SR. In effect, this would formalize the existing rules (i.e. the CRSRS) as a document that would guide the annual selection process for our Student Regent. This referendum for the ratification of the CRSRS is scheduled on January 26-29, 2009.

What is the CHECK OSR campaign all about?

We also know that we are now being pushed to approve or disapprove the CRSRS in its entirety, with a referendum question phrased like this:

Do you approve of the EXISTING Codified Rules for Student Regent Selection (CRSRS) as rules and qualifications to govern the selection of our student representative to the UP Board of Regents?

( ) YES ( ) NO

Nonetheless, we know for a fact that we don’t necessarily agree nor disagree readily to everything that comes our way. As we put our hands forward to signify that we have to pause and think about our choices, ALYANSA also does the same.

As all of our fingers are involved in putting our hands forward and asking for time, ALYANSA also represents its demands through our specific fingers:

THE THUMB: As pointing the thumb upwards indicates approval, ALYANSA fundamentally affirms the Office of the Student Regent as a force for good, and also upholds the referendum as an opportunity to further student empowerment.

THE FOREFINGER: As the forefinger normally indicates the number one, ALYANSA demands that the selection for the SR should be done in the one-college, one-vote system, consistent with the principle of proportional representation.

THE MIDDLE FINGER: As our middle finger stands out from our hand, ALYANSA also demands that the consolidated interests of the diverse studentry as represented by the student councils stand out in the SR selection process and not the interest of a partisan few, which is why there is a need to remove Kasama sa UP from the CRSRS.

THE RING FINGER: As the ring finger signifies commitment, ALYANSA demands that the CRSRS include the duties and responsibilities of the Student Regent, a concrete sign of his commitment to her constituents.

THE PINKY: As our pinky is the littlest finger on our hands, ALYANSA demands SR nominees comply with the MINIMUM academic requirement as a prerequisite for selection, consistent with her commitment to uphold academic excellence.

Hence, as we ask our fellow students to wait and think, we also ask our SR to include the following reforms to the CRSRS, consistent with empowering us and giving us a real choice in the upcoming referendum.

Besides, why should we vote for the CRSRS without including the PROGRESSIVE provisions that would allow us to choose for changes in the SR selection process?

But would staying the referendum abolish the Office of the Student Regent?
Staying the public referendum, or even in the passing of a NO vote, would NOT, in any way, abolish or render vacant the Office of the Student Regent (OSR). Under existing laws, as the OSR is a public office, the current SR has the mandate to continue holding her position until her successor has been selected and qualified.

Fears about the abolition of the Office of the Student Regent as a result of a stay or a NO vote are utterly unfounded. Any argument claiming such is neither logical nor honest.

What should we do then?
Beyond choosing yes or no, we should CHECK the referendum, whether it has followed a democratic process and it contains the reforms we want in order to make the SR accountable to us.

As Iskolars para sa Bayan, we must not hesitate to stop and think, if we feel that the referendum does not cater to our best interests as students.

This referendum is not merely an exercise in gathering consent, but for engaging ourselves in a timely debate about the relevance and accountability of the Student Regent in our lives. As constituents, we deserve that, right?

Opt to Strengthen Representation!
Open Selection rules to Reforms!
Onward with Securing our Rights!

UP Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran (ALYANSA)

Posted by arianne at 7:55 PM

N {about me}

first year law student.kid at heart.idealist.optimist (except about myself).hopeless romantic.daydream believer.dreamer.klutz(hehe).

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