CERTAIN events have the capacity to capture the complexities and contradictions of a situation that should not have been allowed to happen in the first place, but which, having occurred nevertheless, was not even being addressed, and had been allowed to fester beyond human endurance.
The suicide of a 16-year old freshman student of the University of the Philippines Manila is one such event, jolting the otherwise complacent into the realization that not only has someone who could have contributed much to this country and its people if given the chance been lost. Many more like her are also, at this very moment, experiencing the same despair and helplessness in a society that claims to value knowledge but skimps in investing in it.
The University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP-CMC) held mock presidential polls last week. The results surprised both the faculty as well as UP-CMC student leaders.
Richard Gordon came in first with a vote of 139 out of 370 students who voted, followed by Gilbert Teodoro (107). Benigno Aquino III was a poor third with 48 votes, followed by Manuel Villar with 37 votes. The rest of the results may be said to have been as expected: Nicanor Perlas received 15 votes, Eddie Villanueva 5, Jamby Madrigal 3, and Joseph Estrada 1, while Vetallano (sic) Acosta and J.C. de los Reyes received 0 votes. (The College has a total student population of over a thousand, and the low turn-out may be indicative of skepticism over the process or even the actual elections themselves.)