Statement of the UP Diliman University Council on the Upcoming National Elections

Choose honest, capable, and principled leaders in 2022

As the country prepares for the 2022 national elections, the University Council of the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) calls on Filipino voters to not only exercise their right to vote, but also critically evaluate their choices for the top positions in government.

The years since the last national elections saw the prevalence of disinformation, fake news, historical whitewashing and denialism— all deliberate efforts to manipulate public opinion and enable the consolidation of power by certain political figures. The University of the Philippines has always stood by an evidence-based and critical discernment of truth. This is an indispensable component of the university’s mandate to improve the country through teaching and research. Thus, we denounce the distortion of historical facts to amass votes.

We stand by our teachers, scientists, artists, and research practitioners who tirelessly impart their knowledge and expertise to combat the coordinated attacks against truth. We call on the Filipino voters to choose leaders who commit themselves to strengthening the state of education in our country, and to working with academic communities to provide our students with the critical tools and cognitive resources to combat disinformation and fraudulent revisionism. Let us vote for candidates who will prioritize the education sector that has suffered from years of neglect, and work to increase the budget for education.

We call on voters to choose candidates with integrity and a clean track record, and reject those with records of corruption, lying, human rights abuses, tax evasion, and ill-gotten wealth. We call on our people to reject all forms of vote buying, patronage, intimidation, and warlordism. We must learn to move away from political dynasties that entrench corruption and patronage, and instead elect leaders that can stand against powerful political families and alliances.

Let us choose candidates who have platforms that advance the interests of the poor and socially excluded, such as genuine land reform, ending contractualization, providing employment and just and sufficient wages, education and healthcare for all, freedom of information, and the preservation of ancestral lands and our environment. Let us discern who among them will deliver real justice to the long-oppressed sectors of our society.

We challenge candidates to declare their defense of academic freedom and academic institutions from state intimidation and forms of violence, particularly red-tagging. Central to our commitment is the preservation of academic freedom because without it, there can be no critical space that can generate real and humane solutions to the deepest problems of our society.

On May 9, let us uphold our constitutional rights and freedom, and elect true and honest leaders.

The UPD University Council is headed by Chancellor Fidel R. Nemenzo and composed of professors, associate professors, and assistant professors.