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Kasapi: College Editors Guild of the Philippines

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Tomo 22 Bilang 1 January 2000  Internet Edition

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Tinig ng Plaridel remains as the official organ of the College of Mass Communication. But today we break our silence for silence has no place in a land of turmoil. Last semester, we agreed not to be political, to mind our business, and that is, just to be the college paper. We washed our hands clean of any political stand or position. We agreed that Tinig would be chika, as we all are. But, damn us if we remain silent today, because it is unforgivable for a college paper to write about the festivities of its domain while our countrymen are outside, fighting for what we have aiways fought for— freedom

We not only fight today for freedom of the press and expression, we fight for morality in our government. We have been too forgiving, too tolerant. But two and a half years is more than enough, we have given the president all the chances to prove himself. Still he failed. He has lost the confidence of the people. It is not about numbers, not about how many people attended the prayer rally which was a pro-Erap assembly in disguise, but of a significant mass of Filipinos who want him out of office. A leader who holds on to his post blindly even as people outside his palace are raging with anger at him, is not a true leader. He will never be efficient because he embraces the position and not the service. A leader is one with the people, and his ultimate vow is to be of service to them. How can a president build mansions amidst the shanties of the poor? How can he grant favors to his cranies while people are living a hand-to-mouth existence, How can he sleep carrying all of these in his conscience? Maybe he does not even have one.

Tinig believes in the Constitutional process of impeachment but we also know that our senators are political personas with personal biases and interests.Still we have faith that they will be worthy of our trust. Politics is a game, and we hope they play it right and according to the rules. We are certain they have future political plans and they know that the outcome of the trial will either be their saving grace or the end of their political careers.

Resignation will probably be the best solution. But with the president's firm grasp on power, and his families and cronies around, it is a far-fetched possibility. People are taking to the streets, lobbying for his immediate step-down, but he would not hear of it. He holds on to those people still supporting him. A president who gives away land titles and releases the coco levy funds to gain support is desperate. And we know he is desperate now.

We at Tinig demand a change of leadership now. We do not mind whether it be impeachment or resignation. We just believe that the president has lost the moral ascendancy to govern. And the Filipino people deserve no less than a good government, a government by the people and for the people. A government which seeks to serve the interests of the public and not their own. The impeachment complaint states, "No less than the Filipino people-deserve faith and justice and honesty." True, we do not have a Ninoy anymore, but there is someone better than who he is sitting now. Someone who will be sensitive to the people's clamor. Someone who will not be so corrupt and shameless. Someone who we deserve. Anyone could be better than him. We call for a change of government. Because we do not want him there anymore.


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