Quantcast
Latest Stories

Aquino urges Ateneans to help fight corruption

By

President Aquino lll. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III called on his fellow Ateneans on Saturday to “right the wrong” in society by leaving their comfort zone and striving to share the benefits of a good education with the needy.

Two days before his fourth State of the Nation Address to a joint session of Congress, Mr. Aquino said the fight against corruption involved everyone and asked current and former students of Ateneo de Manila University to help bring about the “positive transformation of the nation.”

“You should be a man for others, that you don’t just live for yourself but especially for others,” Mr. Aquino said.

The President was the keynote speaker at the opening program of the Ignatian Festival 2013 on his alma mater’s campus in Loyola Heights, Quezon City, with the theme “Lahing Loyola Para sa Kapwa (A Loyola Race for Others).”

“You are an Atenean not just because you see society’s ills but, more importantly, you find the solution and you stand by the principle of doing what is right and appropriate,” Mr. Aquino said, adding that Ateneans are “not choosy with people and circumstances” to associate with.

Now on its second year, the daylong school festival aims to gather alumni, friends, students, faculty and staff of the Jesuit-run university to commemorate the annual Feast of St. Ignatius de Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order.

Mr. Aquino reminded Ateneans that at the core of the teaching of the school was the resonant call of St. Ignatius to be a “man for others.”

He urged them to leave their “comfort zone” and to associate with people from all walks of life.

“Never ever fear to tread the righteous path and shun the easy but crooked way,” the President said.

The President said that finding solutions to the ills of society went beyond the four walls of the classroom, adding that discussing the country’s problems on social media was not enough.

“Problem solving can’t be done via marketing study or reflection paper, updating of Facebook statuses or [indiscriminately] posting tweets,” he said.

“It’s not enough that you only know the problem—it’s your obligation to contribute to finding the solution; it’s your duty to right the wrong. And you’ll be part of the problem if you will not act, isn’t that so? [If this is the case], you [will] fail [not only] your fellowman but [also] yourself and the institution that cared for and supported you,” he said.

Mr. Aquino was educated in Ateneo from grade school to college. He graduated with a degree in economics in 1981.

The President sought to draw attention to the life of St. Ignatius, who gave up the privileged life of a knight from a wealthy Spanish family to serve Jesus Christ.

St. Ignatius was a soldier and it was while recuperating from a wound received in battle that he had a spiritual conversion.

He studied the life of Jesus Christ and the saints, and chose the “greater and higher call” of forming an army of Christ, Mr. Aquino said.

“As Ateneans, this is one of the most important teachings of St. Ignatius: Let’s go out of our comfort zone; be with the people,” the President said.

He said he “owed a debt of gratitude” to his former teachers and mentors for molding his character.

Ateneo teaches that “I am in the position to help” improve the lives of others, he said, without adding that state universities and other schools also do the same.

Repeating the age-old dichotomy between success and public service (or servant leadership, as Ateneans like to call it), Mr. Aquino asked: “Isn’t this more sensible than the other institutions’ drive to enhance their students ability to quickly ascend the ladder of wealth and prestige?”

He cited the pivotal role played by his economics professor, Fr. Michael McPhelin, a Harvard alumnus, in enriching his knowledge of the subject.

He recalled debating with McPhelin on matters dealing with economics and statistics during the “last 15 minutes of each and every class” held three times a week.

After passing the course, he was told by McPhelin that “he just wanted me to be like my father so he pressured me… into getting used to going through a lot of tests,” Mr. Aquino said.

The President did not end his speech without cracking a joke.

He said Fr. Jose Ramon “Jett” Villarin, Ateneo president, once told him that becoming President of the land was not an easy job.

“Perhaps, you’ll go straight to heaven,” Villarin said, according to Mr. Aquino.

“My question at first was why did he say that. His answer was, ‘Because this is already your purgatory,’” Mr. Aquino said.

Turning the tables on the priest, the President said he had only two years and 11 months left in office while Villarin had to endure 18 more years as head of the Jesuit-run Ateneo.

“Although I’m about to exit purgatory, I’ll still remember you,” Mr. Aquino said, drawing chuckles from the audience.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Ateneo de Manila University , Benigno Aquino III , Education , Graft and Corruption , Ignatian Festival 2013 , Politics




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • 2 teenagers killed in Mlang, North Cotabato
  • No sympathy from North Korea over ferry disaster
  • 4 French journalists freed from Syria captors home
  • De Lima on Gigi Reyes: Let’s wait and see
  • South Korean relatives divided over whether to raise ferry
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Lifestyle

  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement