Impeachment at Ateneo

As impeachment fever hits the one-month mark, an elite university takes a page from the national narrative.

It is often said that the university is a microcosm of society. Granted, this is usually said of the University of the Philippines, but it also applies to other schools, with slight modifications.

At any rate, it can be said that our universities mirror society since they have valid issues too. Valid to the students, at any rate.

Take the Occupy Job Fair at Ateneo de Manila University earlier this year as a protest against a job fair perceived to be aimed at finding jobs for people from the ADMU School of Management:

An unrepresentative and unaccommodating job fair is one more insult on top of all the SOM students who’ve discriminated against us in our very own classes whether out of malice or ignorance. We’re not saying that people mean to marginalize us through all of these things, but all we’re asking for is space and respect for non-corporate ways to make sense of our lives.

At the end of the day even if there is no giant SOMspiracy, students from SOSS and SOH unfairly feel the weight of the invisible hand. We’re making a perfectly legitimate choice offered by the institution and it’s only right that we expect the Ateneo institution to stand by us by validating our choices in the job fair.

Clearly, even though many of them are in the Philippines’ 1 percent (which, in no way means the global 1 percent), students from schools other than the School of Management felt they were in the 99 percent.

Here are photos from that protest:

Photos from Rica Facundo (senorica.wordpress.com)

Ms. Facundo adds:

In my four college years in Ateneo this is the most vocal I’ve seen the community. Perhaps the medium was radical, but if other people voiced their opinions sooner then maybe this could have been prevented. Although there are bigger issues to be concerned about, if you can’t speak up in your community now then what more when you leave it.

But the world has since moved on from the Occupy movement (except for people actually Occupying cities) and the flavor of the month is now the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Which brings us to the potential impeachment trial of an ADMU student council officer for “mismanagement, inefficiency,incompetence, and gross neglect of duty.”

An excerpt, with the respondent’s name redacted:

RESOLUTION AND PRAYER

WHEREFORE, pursuant to the procedure laid out in Section 19, Article II of theSanggunian Constitution, the undersigned complainants, as students of the Ateneo deManila University – Loyola Schools, hereby file the impeachment complaint against Respondent [Redacted].Thereafter, undersigned Complainants respectfully pray that the Honorable Magistratesof the Student Judicial Court conduct trial forthwith and thereafter, render a judgment of conviction against Respondent [Redacted]. Other reliefs, just and equitable, are also prayed for

Indolent Indio doesn’t know whether the complaint, dated February 19, has been filed, or whether it will be filed by ADMU party Christian Union for Socialist and Democratic Advancement (Crusada) at all. There is a document, though, and it exists online.

In any case, this will not be the first time that impeachment proceedings have been initiated at the ADMU as a cursory Google search has found:

A lot of Ateneans do not know this but there is an Impeachment Trial going on right in their very own campus.

The plaintiffs are members of the Sanggu themselves including [Redacted] and the rest of the top officers in the council.

The Prosecution is headed by Joan De Venecia and William Panlilio.

These are the charges: Violation of constitution and abuse of power And Misrepresentation

On the first day of the trial, Jan. 15,2001, the President is off to a stumbling start. First, her motion for reconsideration and dismissal on the grounds that not all the plaintiffs were present at the start of the trial was shot down at least three times by the Judicial council. When she cited another Article for her reasons, it turns out that the Article was referring to the Judicial Council and JC chief Baldoria told her that they are complete.

It seems that the president is looking for a way out of this through technicality. It seems, however, that she is shooting herself in the foot in her oral argumentations.

It’s the greatest show in school!

That impeachment trial happened in 2001, when, coincidentally, the Senate was trying impeached President Joseph Ejercito Estrada. The Pinoy Exchange thread was started on January 16, 2001, a day before Edsa Dos. It is unclear whether a proportionally smaller crowd later rallied along the Ateneo corridors against their impeached council president. [For accuracy's sake: there was no such rally.]

(Thx, ‘S.O.M Mall Lady’)