August 26, 2020 (8:03 PM)

3 min read


STRENGTHEN THE YOUTH. National Society of Parliamentarians President Mr. Bryan Ezra Gonzales shares his insights on fighting oppression by holding leaders who have not fulfilled their mandate of righteousness and justice accountable in an online forum organized by the Samahan ng Mag-aaral ng Agham Pampulitika ng Ateneo (SAMAPULA), August 25. Photo taken from @ADDUSAMAPULA Twitter page

“Continue to speak up, it’s what makes us humans,” emphasized National Society of Parliamentarians President Mr. Bryan Ezra Gonzales in his talk yesterday on Youth Activism in the Philippines for the Political Science Week of Ateneo de Davao University.

“If we allow people to speak for us, if we allow ourselves to be dominated by other people, we are allowing ourselves to be reduced to animals and that is something that we do not want,” he shared.

Over fighting oppression, Gonzales reminded the youth of their role to pursue justice and to be informed especially on the government failures and mishaps.

“We have a task to hold leaders who do not fulfill their mandate to righteousness and justice, we have the right and the obligation and the duty to hold them accountable,” he stressed.

“We can take that [authority] away, if our interests are not fully represented.”

Gonzales further stated the importance of focusing our attention on the government’s actions and policies not just in this time of pandemic but in mediating differing views in general.

“Dapat ba nakatutok lagi sa government ang activism? Most of the time, yes! Why? Kasi they were entrusted by the people to govern to mediate our conflicted interest. Kaya ka nga may gobyerno to ensure that everyone is treated fairly despite our conflicting interest,” he said.

Former Commissioner National Youth Commission and Founding President Student Council Alliance of the Philippines Percival Cendaña also graced the event by focusing his talk on how the perspective of hindsight can deter the youth to advocate for social change.

“Kapag kabataan ka, ito lang dapat gawin mo,” he said while sharing how older generation has a preconceived notion of what and who young people should be.

“We live in complicated times; young people live complicated lives and because it is complicated it will require equally complicated and innovative responses.”

According to Cendana, young people are the drivers of innovation. They refuse to accept the status quo and rather challenge it.

However, he further shared how this behaviour, from the perspective of hindsight, are often labeled as ‘Pasaway.’

“Minsan naiirita kayo sa mga aktibista,kasi bakit sila sabi ng sabi ng problem kasi nga ito yung simula ng  process ng paghahanap ng solusyon,” he said.

“You cannot come up with a solution if the problem is not clear to you,” he added.

For Cendana, the gateway to leadership and the gateway to activism is seeing the condition outside of yourself.

“Kapag nakikita mo na yung problema ng iba liban sa problema mo, that’s a good sign,” he said

Ateneo Debate Varsity President and 3rd year Political Science major Brian Unabia praised the event and speakers for making them appreciate the value of speaking out and dissenting to injustices.

“In this current context that we are in, I believe the need for activism has become even more important as we are constantly seeing systemic flaws unfolding,” he said.

“We need to dissent to be able to hold our public officials accountable and to incentivize them to actually do their jobs,” Unabia added.

He further clarified that activism is not limited to street protests and that any forms and means of dissenting and challenging the status quo can be activism.

The Political Science week is in line with the Political science month celebration filled with initiatives relating to the enhancement of the department and the social sciences field organized by the Samahan ng Mag-aaral ng Agham Pampulitika ng Ateneo (SAMAPULA).

End the silence of the gagged!

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