Miriam College to Pialago: Students are not ‘fence-sitters’ in political affairs
MANILA, Philippines — Miriam College says its students are empowered to participate in political affairs and are not bystanders or fence-sitters.
Miriam College issued a statement on Thursday in response to its alumna National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson Celine Pialago who claims that she joined political rallies as a student to earn additional points from professors.
According to the statement released by Miriam College president and former Ambassador Laura Quiambao-del Rosario, Miriam College students get to appreciate the presence of dissenting views as it is the essence of democracy.
“Miriam College students are not cookie-cutter academic products given the various opportunities offered to study the body politic. Empowered to participate in political affairs and various development programs and not to remain bystanders nor fence-sitters, they become engaged citizens committed to building a just and peaceful society,” the school’s statement read.
“And in being trained to respect opposite choices taken by others, MC students also learn to appreciate dissent as part of a healthy democracy while being reminded to act in loving charity, regardless of differences, by Christ’s symbol, the Chi Rho in the center of the logo,” it added.
Dear Members of the MC Community,Asst. Sec. Celine Pialago of the National Task Force on to End Local Communists Armed…
Miriam College also shared a copy of its new logo that will be released for the school’s upcoming 100th year anniversary. The new logo will bear the Latin word “Veritas” (truth) which has been absent for several years.
The school administrators hope that their students and graduates will always be guided by truth and the search for truth.
“The new logo will emphasize the motto: Veritas or Truth. Since its founding in 1926, Miriam College has emphasized going beyond course requirements in search of Truth as the primary goal of education. Veritas is more than facts, and the word Truth or Veritas is capitalized to signify its transcendence,” the school said.
“Miriam College hopes that its graduates will remain engaged in important issues, wherever they are, and will always be guided by a constant North Star called Veritas,” it added.
The NTF-ELCAC is a task force organized by the government to respond and raise awareness on the ongoing communist movement in the Philippines and on the movement’s legal fronts.
However, critics have labeled the activities of the task force as mere red-tagging, insisting that the public has the right to question issues as part of democracy.
Miriam College is not the first school to be accused of requiring students to join rallies against government policies. After President Rodrigo Duterte took office and allowed the burial of late dictator and former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, several students from the St. Scholastica College also protested the President’s decision.
This is not the first time that Pialago who also served as spokesperson for the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to get involved in controversy.
In October 2020, Pialago reaped criticism for saying that the plight of political detainee Reina Mae Nasino — whose daughter River died without her being able to take care of the child — is being turned into a television drama.
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