March 16, 2006


Was pleasantly surprised to get this from my students in an email. It's inspiring to know that there is hope still for Malcolm Hall residents and that perhaps despite or inspite of our efforts and shortcomings as faculty members, they're learning something--most still can't address a rally in straight Filipino though.


Call of the Times

Proclamation 1017 (Proc. 1017) was issued on February 24 2006. Since then, our collective shock was overtaken by a series of state actions that run counter to our reasonable expectations as citizens of a democratic republic: violent dispersals of, and ban against public assemblies; denial of due process; the raid on the Tribune offices and police presence in media establishments; the threat of arrest against members of the House. Proc. 1017, and public officers’ acts pursuant to it, are clearly UNCONSTITUTIONAL. They trespass into a territory where they are most unwelcome – the sphere of civil rights and liberties which no less than the constitution deems hallowed ground. Proc. 1017 vests upon the President a plethora of powers akin to those enjoyed by Marcos during Martial Law. It is an issuance that, in substance and in operation, unabashedly tramples upon our protected freedoms. We believe that we have to contend against Proc. 1017 on the basis of actual consequences that it has already effected in society. The fact that it was couched in a language that is harmless by constitutional standards does not make it less reprehensible. Constitutional defect cannot be rectified by evasive phraseology. Consenting to bring the debate to the level of semantics is paying homage to the skewed legal minds behind the President, who had no qualms exploiting the gray areas of the constitution to serve unprincipled ends. We will not give them that satisfaction.

THE CALL is to speak – loudly, clearly, courageously – for ourselves and in behalf of those who cannot. If we believe that Proc. 1017 is unconstitutional, we should lead our fellow students on saying so without reservations or delay. We owe it to the students of UP, our faculty, and the College of Law to herald our presence in the university and national scene. The majesty of the law – what it is, what it means, what it stands for – is not confined in the classroom. It also thrives in the heart of society and pulsates through the veins of the body politic. There are times when the intellect must be enriched, and times when relevance must be asserted. There is no conflict between the two endeavors, if we believe in learning the law in the Grand Manner.

THE CALL is to learn FROM and WITH the people, to LIVE the days and not simply LIVE THROUGH them, and to be OBJECTS, not mere ACCESSORIES, of history. We must act NOW.

UP Law Class 2009B


Through BLACK we mourn the death of civil liberties;
through RED we invoke the spirit of resistance and militancy that will revive it.


Major Tom said...

Proclamation 1017 is clearly one huge blunder and I believe even MalacaƱang knew of this that immediately it made plans to lift it. In my view, the Arroyo administration is very lucky for 1017 should have backfired on them big time. But as of the moment, it didn't.

Anonymous said...

these students are my schoolmates, and i believe that in the early days of the proclamation's effectivity palang they were actively discussing it na and unafraid to display their beliefs by way of the ribbon campaign. =)
one b happiness.

algol said...

I hope that it is not just "dada".

Ted said...

@algol. Cynicism dies a little everytime you affirm an act that gives hope; it, on the other hand, gains strength everytime we fail to affirm an act of hope. I hope we do our bit to kill cynicism.

algol said...

Prof and Atty:

Well, I have seen a lot of UP College of Law alumni get devoured by the system.

I am just weary. Well, more like sick and tired.

But I agree with you, we must nurture hope, so that we could cease to be the sick man of Asia. 50? 100? 150 years?

Ted said...

@ algol. I know what you mean about being sick and tired. Don't know how old you are but I haven't been doing this as long as some others but it feels like I've been doing this forever already and with no clear end in sight. It is a daily struggle to really say, I will not give in to the system and I will continue to fight. May we all continue hoping and, more importantly, acting and doing.

Anonymous said...


everyone has a right to doubt our actions and convictions. we cannot promise you sir that when we become lawyers, we'll be as incorruptible as we hope to be. but rest assured that the day we walked out of our classrooms, marched around the university and went to EDSA, we knew fully well what we were doing, why we were doing them and why we could not just stay in the library as our parents would have wanted us to. we're no heroes, nor models but we're trying to do our share, no matter how little.

i hope your cynicism will help us go somewhere.


algol said...

Atty Ted:

I am 36 years old. I entered the state university in 1987. That was a time of relatively violent campus politics. I was in the university during the tumultuous Cory Aquino period -> coups left and right, Mendiola massacre... I peered at Lean Alejandro's reconstructed face one day in September 1987 at the chapel.

The way I see it, there is no hope in the Philippine elite -> both political and economic. One day, the masses will have to have their voices heard. When? I don't know. Maybe when 95% of the population is below the poverty line?

Mr. Jobert:
It's always invigorating to hear the youth talk. Well, until they become political advisers and environment secretaries, nyahahaha

Ted said...

@algol: well, you're a bit older than I am and definitely older than Jobert. But I also remember Lean; he was the vice chair of USC when I entered and he became chair the next year; I remember that I was in law school when an upperclassman,whom we knew to be our resident Leninist (down to the van dyke beard), stormed into our classroom in tears and told us that Lean had been assassinated. The elite will always have each other to fight against; or they will invent an enemy. The masses, on the other hand, have no such luxury--their enemies remain the same: poverty, indifference, oppression, learned helplessness. That's why its important to learn from the lesssons of the past so we don't repeat them.

Hopefully, one day the Filipino masses prove us wrong.

Ted said...

sorry,dyslexic episode. The first line should read: I'm a little bit older than you. . .