Palace warns Ateneo students vs strike

Published November 15, 2020, 3:48 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang reminded students of Ateneo de Manila University that they will fail if they are not able to adhere to academic requirements due to their planned mass student strike.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after Ateneo students declared a mass student strike to condemn what they call the government’s “criminally neglectful response” to the recent typhoons that ravaged the country and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

They pledge to “withhold the submission of any school requirements” starting Nov. 18 until the national government heeds the people’s demands for proper calamity aid and pandemic response.

READ MORE: Ateneans to hold strike, withhold requirements submission as protest vs gov’t calamity response

In an interview with members of the media in Cagayan Valley, Roque said the students may not graduate if they fail to comply with their requirements due to activities like the strike.

“Babagsak po kayo (You will fail),” Roque, a former professor at the University of the Philippines, said Sunday.

“Kahit anong dahilan ng sinasabi niyong strike, ‘pag hindi kayo sumunod sa mga academic requirements, mawawalan kayo ng kinabukasan at hindi gagraduate sa Ateneo (No matter what your reason is for the strike, if you do not fulfill your academic requirements, you will lose your future and you will not graduate from Ateneo),” he added.

In a statement, Ateneo students said they believe that things cannot continue business as usual while a lot of people are suffering.

“We can no longer stomach the ever-rising number of death due to the state’s blatant incompetence,” they said.

“We cannot prioritize our school work when our countrymen are suffering unnecessarily at the hands of those in power,” they added.

Ateneo students said that they will strike in solidarity with the students who are victims of calamities and of COVID-19, who cannot be expected to catch-up with their studies within three to five working days.

“We strike in order to let them, and more of the student body, focus on their advocacies. We strike in order to have the chance to be a person for and with others.”

“We cannot sit idly by and do our modules, ignoring the fact that the Philippine nation is in shambles. We sacrifice what we have (that is, our access to education) for those who do not share our privileges,” it furthered.

Ateneans dared government officials to do their duties or step down from their positions.